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As pretty as porcelain

At the Lladro boutique in the city, people got a glimpse of how porcelain is crafted into delicate flowers and figurines

HANDS WORKED magic at the Lladro boutique in the city this past week. Spanish artist Trinidad Gimenez Tomas from the Lladro factory crafted intricate flowers with amazing ease. Sitting in the middle of the showroom surrounded by curious visitors, she demonstrated how to make porcelain flowers.

The process: A small pinch of porcelain paste is shaped into a petal on a non-sticky cardboard base. A sharp tweezer is used to draw thin lines on the petal. Five such petals are made and carefully glued together. The flowers are then pasted on to a porcelain doll. Voila! the doll is decked up, flowers and all.

"It is easier said than done," she explains as she shows the intricately patterned petals of each flower. "Filling a basket of flowers can take up to three days depending on the size of the flowers," she adds.

Trinidad Gimenez Tomas is one of the oldest artists from the Lladro factory. "We wanted to create awareness of the kind of work being done at our production house in Spain. That's why we have flown in one of the best artists to showcase the laborious and delicate work that goes into the making of every piece," says Roberto Marco Andreu, sales executive, special sales markets, Europe.

"This is an entirely different experience for me and am enjoying it. As I work on a flower I can sense the onlookers' interest," says the artist.

Each person specialises in making a specific part of a doll, explains Roberto. "For example, there are artists who craft only the eyes. This is because we believe that every piece should have life."

Except for some moulded ones, most of the figurines are handmade, says Roberto. "In fact, I can recognise the flowers I have made even after several years. There is a special touch to every piece," says Trinidad rolling away another flower into the basket. Having worked with Lladro for over 30 years now, Trinidad says she first specialised in painting figurines. As she liked flowers, she learnt to craft them. "We have our own school of art where we train artists. Moreover, frequent workshops conducted by Lladro help artists upgrade their skills," says Roberto.

Lladro figurines enjoy a market in as many as 70 countries, "India is an emerging market for us," he says. To make porcelain appealing for the Indian market, Lladro introduced a limited edition of Lord Ganesha. The company plans to launch limited editions of Radha-Krishna, next year.

The artist is travelling to all the Lladro boutiques in the country to demonstrate his skills. In Chennai, the boutique is situated at the Ispahani Center, Nungambakkam.


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