Tradition and Innovation, we tend to think that the two can never meet. Porcelain is an old material, so you might assume that we’ve pretty much explored the medium, but do we ever completely understand a material?
The artistry of making porcelain sculptures is one where technicality meets the art. If there’s no way to physically create a piece, whether its the fact it doesn’t survive the firing process, or there are no existing finishes that do the piece justice, the creation doesn’t come to life and nobody can enjoy it. Lladró as a brand, is well known for flawlessly bridging the divide between modern and classic porcelain. So how does Lladró meet the future and evolve porcelain art?
Lladró’s Gorilla Sculpture in Blue and Gold, note how the gold and blue compliment and enhance each other.
With almost 70 years experience, it would be easy for Lladró to stick to what they know, instead of expanding their repertoire. However, playing it safe is not something Lladró is known for, the brand has continually been pushing the bounds of what’s possible with porcelain and people’s expectations by blending many of their classic pieces with the avant-garde, and making their High Porcelain pieces bolder and larger than ever before.
The Bold Blue Collection features many much loved classic animals reinterpreted for a bold modernist aesthetic, taking inspiration from the life work of artist Yves Klein and his exploration of depth and colour. The Gorilla Sculpture is a long-time Lladró favourite and a strong piece all on its own. However, painting the piece in this vibrant matt blue acts to eliminate all other visual clutter and focuses on the form, texture and presence of the piece as seen in Lladró’s Gorilla Sculpture in Blue and Gold. This collection and indeed many of Lladró’s collaborations with other artists explores how porcelain is perceived and challenges its audience to look further than the surface.
Lladró’s Winged Fantasy with accents of their signature gold lustre.
It may not seem like it, but it wasn’t always certain Lladró’s Winged Fantasy would be the success that it is. Standing a whopping 104cm in width it is one of Lladró’s largest and certainly widest pieces, there’s a reason you don’t see many pieces with wings this large ensuring that things don’t shrink too much and stay proportional to the piece is tricky, even Lladró’s sculptors were unsure if her enormous wings wouldn’t break off during the firing process. Learn more about Lladró’s Winged Fantasy.
Porcelain is often categorised into two different finishes either matt or gloss, but recently Lladró has been exploring new looks that add texture or depth to their pieces. In particular, their shimmer finishes which provide a perfect bridge between matt and gloss and have a wide spectrum of intensity from iridescent to almost metallic.
Lladró’s Macaw Bird Vase, when fully adorned with plant-life the macaw appears perched among the its natural habitat.
The Macaw Bird Vase is a wonderful example of this spectrum and how mixing finishes creates depth and intrigue. At first glance, the gold lustre on its beak jumps out at you but look more closely and your attention may be drawn to the area around the macaw’s eye as the difference in finishes creates variation of textures. Notice its pale green pigment and iridescent finish fills the crevasses of its skin and catches the light. Further down, of course what stands out is the green of its wings and tail feathers, they may appear simply matt initially but you may be able to notice an almost metallic effect where the light hits it. This very subtle shimmer is complimented by the ombre colouring that adds shade and as one moves around the piece these shades and highlights are exaggerated and all the more noticeable. These different finishes interact with one another, preventing the piece from being overwhelming. However, the full effect is often hard to notice in a photograph, we always recommend seeing a piece in person to fully appreciate it.
The golden lustre is a staple of Lladró, often used to catch and direct the eye as seen here. Learn more about Lladró’s gold metallic lustre.
When you think of Lladró, the image that is often drawn to mind are sweet figurines adorned with their signature handcrafted flowers that conjure up images of pastoral life. Though these classics will always be around, porcelain’s inherent qualities as a material makes it perfect for exploring styles and functions never before seen.
Lladró’s range of porcelain lamps are a new frontier for this material, uplifting lighting from its base function to works of art. From elegant chandeliers to cordless lamps, they are a new form of sculpture, and its full capabilities are still being explored. Lladró’s Firefly Lamps are completely unique, combining the durability and sculptural nature of porcelain with touch sensitive LEDs to create pieces that use light to effortlessly enhance their form and meet the demands of the modern world. Read more about Lladró’s Cordless Lamps.
Lladró’s Firefly Cordless Lamp Collection are available in a wide selection of colourways.
A new look for Lladró is the Awesome Insects Collection, mixing new finishes, materials and subject matter. These pieces spark interest, conversation, even shock as its not everyday you see a blue porcelain Hercules Beetle on your coffee table. This collection explores a new aspect of elegance and form with the surprisingly sculptural shapes of the insects. These pieces blend porcelain with metal in a collection that reinterprets how porcelain is displayed, the metallic finishes further highlight these qualities as the light catches it to create works of art that boldly defy balance and explore shape. Discover more about the Awesome Insects Collection.
In a world where mass production and outsourcing labour is the standard, it can be hard to find brands that are devoted to quality and craft rather than quantity. Many are surprised to learn that Lladró still produces all their pieces be it a tea cup or High Porcelain at their factory in Spain and sculpted by experts trained at their own trainee academy. The result is evident in the work, Lladró sculptors have more room to experiment and hone their craft, as seen this in the wide range of pieces that feature stunning amounts of detail, realism and dynamic use of balance and space.
Lladró’s Koi Fish Sculpture is eye catching to be sure, with its bright red of the koi that stand out against the rich green of the reeds, but more than that is the movement and the way that this piece appears suspended in time. You can tell that a lot of thought went into conceptualising this piece as simple as it may appear, as Koi Fish and Lotus flowers have great cultural significance and symbolism in many parts of Asia. Learn more about the mythology of Koi Fish.
Balance is a central aspect of this piece, in a symbolic sense, two Koi swimming together often represent harmony and duality in life. It’s not uncommon for Koi to be positioned in the Yin and Yang configuration as seen here, a universal symbol nowadays for the equilibrium between opposing forces. In a literal sense, you can see the attention paid in creating movement and seamlessly integrating the fish with the reeds as to appear suspended, truly making it feel as thought there is water around them pushing the reed and their fins.
Lladró’s focus on realism and detail is no more evident than in the Spanish Pure Breed Sculpture, that depicts the Andalusian Horse in all its glory. Created by sculptor Ernest Massuet, many hours were devoted to simply observing this animal, taking note of its anatomy and movement, not to mention researching its long history. Truly no detail has been spared, even down to the veining along its body and grey pattern of its coat, creating a piece that is not only anatomically accurate but has gravitas and life. Discover more about Lladró’s Spanish Pure Breed.
The essence of Lladró is in the timelessness of its pieces, whether they are flamboyant and fantastical or classic florals. The brand recognises what has worked and builds on their heritage and experience to create pieces that will always remain interesting, tasteful and unique.