“The terracotta…, a very nice symbol of the fragility of all the things of this world and particularly of the beautiful things.”
Thomas Neal – For a freedom in terracotta. 1899 *

Logo Manifattura di Signa

Giandomenico Tiepolo Divertimento pe li regazzi

Pietro Lazzeri e Ugo Corsi

This short quotation – which open the Manifattura di Signa’s catalogue – summarizes skilfully the glamour, which this material since centuries brings with himself. To pick after so many time, in the fragility of a small sculpture of terracotta, which was the starting point from wear the sculptor and his workshop begun to realize the sculptures we better know, is moving. The terracotta of Bernini, Algardi, Giambologna, just to mention some of the sculptors which sketches we still can see, they inspire admiration and a spirit of emulation still today. The version of their works was for me a stimulation in my way as modeller, which begun some years ago as portrait painter.

Other two big protagonists of the Italian ‘700 influenced my work: Giambattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo, even if painters. I know Tiepolo since a lot of time for having painted various copies of their paintings or frescos. I know them in their pencil designs, in their fresco’s brush-strokes, which I see by instinct transposed in modelling off their works. In fact, they are these who inspire some finished or under work works.

It was essential frequent the craftsman’s workshops in Tuscan, the last remained, to understand secrets and tricks. In this sense, to meat Pietro Lazzeri – last plaster’s modeller of Manifattura di Signa - was important. With his knowledge, explaining me the technical processing of the work and of the patination of the Manifattura’s terracotta, Lazzeri permitted me to realize sculptures in a ancient style. This way continued later looking for an earth suitable for a good patination.

In my going around from workshop to workshop, I documented by a film all the steps of my working at a terracotta’s statue, starting from the preparation of the earth, the cast of plaster, until the final cooking. My idea was to underline how it is important for these traditions jobs – unchanged throughout the centuries – because I think that the art cannot be separated from the technical ability, which is today considered absolutely unnecessary from those who considers more important the idea who produces the objet instead of the objet himself.

For my models I wished a mixture of ancient and modern, maintaining the ancient technique of work. I am sure that the art cannot be held up in ancient forms but must evolve and transform herself in looking for the beauty and the harmony.

 

 

* “La Manifattura di Signa": Catalogo illustrato 1900-1905 c. – Edizione anastatica – Edizioni S.P.E.S. 1986 – Omaggio della Cassa Rurale ed Artigianale di Signa. A cura di Baldinotti, Bassignana, Bernini e Ciulli.

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