A wave of nostalgia is sweeping the world!
Today in my art studio in Guanajuato (a small town in the mountains of central Mexico) I am enjoying a sense of “deja-vu” by designing porcelain signage art that celebrates eras of the past. Inspiration for my images comes from stepping back in time and rendering a mix of historic accuracy with artistic interaction. The process of putting the art in porcelain form, uses the exact methods as used in the past.
Porcelain colors have a wonderful luster that have no comparison and porcelain is impervious to moisture, dryness and sunlight, so it will not fade or deteriorate. This art can be displayed and enjoyed anywhere – indoors with other art, outdoors on the garden wall, in sunny areas, in bathrooms and even in the kitchen near the stove (neither heat nor grease will damage it, and it can be washed with soap and water).
Framing this art is not necessary, as our steel “canvasses” are folded over on the edges, and folded again with the corners welded, creating an attractive finished appearance which needs no frame. It is “self framed.”
Putting art into porcelain form begins when my subject has been chosen, and the image has been designed to my satisfaction. The next step is to apply a fixed base coat of dark colored porcelain (vitreous glass particles) onto both front and back sides of the steel “canvass.”
The “canvass” is then carefully placed into a kiln, which is heated to about 1,800 degrees Fahrenheit, where it remains for close to 20 minutes. When the piece begins to glow red, the granulated glass particles melt and bond to the steel, forming a porcelain coat.
Then my artisan matches each color I have chosen for the image, from a collection of colored vitreous glass, and tumbles each color of glass in a rotation drum, until it becomes very fine particles called “frit.” The artisan then applies by hand, one of the chosen colors of the vitreous glass onto the porcelain coated steel “canvass.”
The “canvass” is then carefully placed into the kiln again, for that color to melt and bond.
It is then taken from the kiln and allowed to cool. Each different color goes through the same process, one at a time, until all the colors are fused onto the steel.
The entire process is time consuming and tedious, but the result is worth it. Art that is truly unique, lustrous and durable. I believe this porcelain art will give you many years of enjoyment and the pieces will themselves become collectible.