CYBISPorcelains that Fire the Imagination


Creation Process:
Art Form

Studio is an important word when referring to porcelain art. It is an art form which benefits from the talents of a number of artists working together to create a sculpture just as the members of an orchestra combine to interpret a composer's melody.

The creation of each Cybis sculpture is the result of weeks or even months of painstaking effort after years of research and study. Most porcelain sculptures begin as a sketch followed by a sculpture in plasteline, a clay-like substance. This model is then dissected into various segments from which a series of molds is made using a complicated positive/negative process.

The porcelain itself is created by mixing different types of clay, including kaolin, with water until a silky smooth liquid the consistency of heavy cream is formed. (The exact proportions are a closely guarded secret.) This liquid, known as slip, is the poured into the various molds. As the plaster of paris molds draw the moisture from the slip, a thin shell of partially hardened porcelain begins to form on the inside of each mold.

When the mold master has determined that the proper thickness has been achieved, the excess slip is poured off and the porcelain shell is carefully removed. Another artist joins the various sections to form the shape of the original sculpture. This must be done both deftly and quickly since the porcelain begins to dry when exposed to air, making the sculpture as delicate as a piecrust.

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