Porcelain Books To Read

As the winter season sets in, there's no better time to curl up with a captivating book about the artistic medium of porcelain. These can offer an intimate insight into the artistry and history behind exquisite porcelain masterpieces. By delving into the rich stories and detailed craftsmanship, readers can deepen their appreciation and comprehension of their own Lladró pieces. Whether you're a long time aficionado or a recent admirer, these books provide a warm and enriching journey through the world of fine porcelain art.



La Empresa De "Ser" Hombre En Juan Lladró Dolz authored by Vincente L. Simó Santonja. 

1. The White Road: Journey into an Obsession

Edmund De Waal

    Edmund De Waal's The White Road: Journey into an Obsession is a captivating narrative that explores the profound allure of porcelain, often referred to as 'white gold'. As a Sunday Times top ten bestseller, the book follows De Waal, an acclaimed writer and potter, on his journey that begins in Jingdezhen, China and spans various historic locations such as Venice, Versailles, and Dresden. Through enthralling and intimate encounters with significant individuals, De Waal delves into a thousand years of history and some of the most poignant moments of recent times. His exploration enlightens the reader on the material's mysterious transformation and its significant impact on cultures and economies worldwide. This publication not only enhances one's understanding of porcelain but also vividly portrays the human passion and obsession surrounding this delicate art. 

    2. Porcelain: A History from the Heart of Europe

    Suzanne L. Marchand

    Suzanne Marchand's Porcelain: A History from the Heart of Europe offers a comprehensive cultural and economic history of porcelain tracing its journey from the eighteenth century to modern times. Initially invented in medieval China, the recipe of porcelain was eventually replicated in Europe by an alchemist under Saxon King Augustus the Strong, leading to the establishment of the revered Meissen factory. The book narrates how porcelain evolved from a pricey luxury to a household necessity, highlighting its diverse roles - from aristocratic ornaments to everyday items like insulator tubes and dental materials. By weaving together the experiences of various stakeholders, including entrepreneurs, artisans and consumers, Marchand presents a rich background of the impact of porcelain on European society. This narrative illustrates the transition of porcelain from an exclusive commodity to an integral part of bourgeois life and industrial production in Germany. 



    There are a variety of books associated with Lladró, including guides, reference books, and compendiums. Among these, the classic reference guides were annual publications released by Lladró, though they are unfortunately no longer in production. These guides provided readers with detailed insights into the pieces featured in that year's catalogue. Additionally, there are numerous books about the Lladró brothers, though these primarily focus on their lives and legacy rather than offering detailed information about specific pieces. 

    3. Lladró: The Magic World of Porcelain

    Salvat Editores 

    The Magic World of Porcelain offers a glimpse into the Lladro factory in Tavernes Blanques and the fascinating world of porcelain making. The book delves into the life of Juan, the eldest of the Lladro brothers, highlighting his contributions and personal perspective on the artistry of porcelain. Richly illustrated, it provides images of the factory and the intricate moulds used before the pieces are fired in the kiln. The narrative recounts how the brothers innovatively used broken, fireproof fragments from blast furnaces to construct their first true kiln, highlighting their resourcefulness. Additionally, the book offers insights into the challenges of creating various shapes and objects, such as the intricate execution of flowers. Furthermore, the publication includes detailed sections on the production process, brand history, limited edition pieces, and identity marks, providing a comprehensive overview for porcelain enthusiasts. 

    4. The Lladró Guide: A Collector's Reference to Retired Porcelain Figurines 

    Peggy Rose Whiteneck  

    The Lladró Guide: A Collector's Reference to Retired Porcelain Figurines in Lladró Brands by Peggy Whiteneck is an essential resource for collectors of Lladró porcelain. The book meticulously identifies all known Lladró figurine brand names and distinguishes them from other Spanish porcelain competitors. It address the enigmatic aspects of Lladró's production history and argues for the brand's prestigious place in the annals of fine porcelain. With over 300 detailed photographs, the guide offers a visual reference for rare, prototype, and unique models, some of which are absent from historical catalogues.  Additionally, Whiteneck provides insights into pricing, valuation and recent developments in the brand. Moreover, she offers tips on identifying genuine Lladró pieces amidst a world of replicas. Her expertise makes this guide a valuable tool for both well-versed and novice collectors. 



    5. Creating Original Porcelain Dolls: Modelling, Moulding and Painting 

    Hildegard Gunzel 

    Creating Original Porcelain Dolls: Modelling, Moulding and Painting authored by Hildegard Gunzel is a comprehensive step-by-step guide for aspiring porcelain doll makers. Providing detailed and technical instructions, Gunzel meticulously organizes nearly three hundred steps in a clear photographic sequence, each accompanied by precise technical drawings. Born in 1945 and educated at the German-Master School of Fashion in Munich, Gunzel began sculpting her own dolls in 1972 and has been teaching doll making classes since 1979. Her expertise shines through in this book, as she not only imparts the necessary technical knowledge but also encourages a sensitivity and creativity that she believes resides within everyone. 

    6. Ceramic Sculpture: Making Faces: A Guide to Modeling the Head and Face with Clay

    Alex Irvine

    Ceramic Sculpture: Making Face: A Guide to Modelling the Head and Face with Clay penned by Alex Irvine, is an expertly crafted guide designed to unshroud the complex art of sculpting the human face in clay. The book takes readers through a step-by-step process, from creating basic outlines to adding intricate surface details, resulting in finely detailed replicas. Irvine's instructions are complemented by a series of photographs that are of models and sketches, providing clear visual guidance throughout the sculpting process. Additionally, the book features a gallery of contemporary works to inspire and inform aspiring sculptors. By breaking down the challenging aspects of facial modelling into manageable steps, Irvine's guide serves as an invaluable resource for both beginners and experiences ceramic artists looking to refine their skills.

    Read our other in-depth Lladró articles:

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