A Swiss Fairytale
As I foreshadowed in my introduction, my source of inspiration is the Nature.
Landscapes, forests, mountains, cliffs, pastures and meadows, wild life, birdsongs, wood cracking sounds, various colours and shapes of plants and trees, tiny little details of mountain flowers, fine leaves vibration, warm sunshine, cooling and magical forest shades, the music of the rain, the calmness conveyed by the fresh and sparkling snow, and I could continue the enumeration, in one world the Nature is such a reach source of inspiration.
I am creating "miniature creatures" (Nature inspired miniature fairy-sculpts) and "allegorical sculptures" (a little biggers in size). I am working with two type of matterials: Bone China porcelain and different types of light clay. In the process of assembling of the fairy-sculpts I am often involving sewing as an interdisciplinary domain. I am using porcelain and acrylic paints, gemstones, pearls, beads, craft materials and a lot of natural components.
The virtue of my miniature creatures is that each creature is unique, and you will never find two identical pieces in my collections.
I am creating for each creature a unique shape that never repeats. I use the sculpted object directly, and I don't use molds.
More precisely I am trying to avoid the molds in order to keep each miniature creature really singular, not just by personalizing them during the mounting but also by keeping their original primary form.
Having the chance to live in the middle of the Nature, I am hiking a lot to discover the beauty of different landscapes of the Swiss Alpes. I aim to find a distinctive setting in a special environment for each of my miniature creatures. For transporting them in my backpack for long distances I need to minimize the risk of breaking them. To be carried on the mountains and in the woods they need to have light weight and solid nature, that is the reason why I am using different types of light clays.
Let me explain you why is this so important to me:
There is this particular feature of my works that each of them has seen a different side of the Swiss nature, sometimes at thousands of feet altitude with breath taking mountain panoramas, sometimes in the deep heart of colourful forests chanted by tinkling birdsongs.
In this way when you treat yourself or your beloved ones with one of my creations, you will have in the same time a souvenir of a not so much traversed, very special area.
To make a more special gift, the miniature creatures can be completed with stenographic pictures, as you can see on the photos below.
My allegorical sculptures, so called allegories due to their symbolical and poetical content as the personifications of deep concepts, are exclusively made of Bone China porcelain, and they travell smaller distances with easiers hiking itineraries.
Initial sculpts are made in white stoneware clay, followed by the mold-making process in plaster and the casting of the porcelain forms. The pieces are customized directly after being extracted from the molds while they were still quoite fresh and soft. Once becoming dry they will go under the first firing at 980 degrees, at this moment we are calling them Biscuit porcelain. The final step is painting them and applicating the glazing layors, and fixing them with the process of high-firing to maturity at 1250 degrees.
Bone China is a type of porcelain originary from the 18th-century England and it is composed of bone ash, feldspathic material (china stone) and kaolin. Thomas Frye (circa 1710-1762), owner of the porcelain factory in Bow, London's East End, was the first to develop this procedure around 1748. The earliest Bow porcelains were made of soft-paste incorporating calcined bone in proportions of roughly 40-45%, forming a phosphatic body characterised by a warm, creamy aspect that tended towards ivory, which was the precursor of the bone china, so called "fine porcelain".
Between 1789 and 1793 Josiah Spode (1733–1797), owner of the porcelain factory in Stoke-on-Trent, improved the formula of the precedent soft-paste porcelain by including kaolin, so his formula, sometimes called "Staffordshire bone-porcelain", was effectively hard-paste. In this way he simplified the recipe: he abandoned the practice of calcining or fritting the bone with some of the other ingredients, and used the simple mixture of bone ash, china stone and kaolin, which since his time set the basic recipe of bone china. The traditional bone china recipe was 6 parts bone ash, 4 parts china stone and 3.5 parts kaolin, all finely ground together.
Bone China’s Composition: kaolin, feldspar, quartz and bone ash.
Bone China’s Primary Characteristics:
Translucent and fine composition
Opaque texture and appearance
Thin-walled pieces give a more delicate appearance, but offer more durability than basic porcelain
Lighter in weight than basic porcelain
Bone China white has a warmer tone to it, often described as “snow white”