Figurine From Italy
collection of porcelain figurines, unusual both in appereance
and technique, is attracting art connoisseurs to the pavillon
of the Artisans of Italy on the International Plaza.
The figures, made by hand without molds or inner frames, have
a brooding, sadly humor-out quality to them. Their spidery elongaged
figures are vaguely remiscent of El Greco. Their mood is Gothic.
Their colors, by a rare process, run togheter to give a fluid
life-like appearance to the characters they portray - Don Quixote
and Sancho Panza, Hamlet, The Philosopher, The Frustrated Musician
and so on.
The figurines are the work of two oung artists of Milan who
recently developed a new technique in handling their medium
and whose production is limited by the very difficulties of
creating each figure entirely by hand by a laborious procedure
requering over 100 separate steps and innumerablefirings.
The artists, Tomaso Moretto, 33 years old, and Gianni Colombo,
29 opened a small workshop with a third companion and exhibited
their wares for the first time at the Milan Fair last May. The
unusual quality of their work attracted the attention of an
Italian exporting firm that decide to display the figurines
as one of the highlights of the exhibit of the Artisans of Italy.
Moretto and Colombo have to work against time as they slowl
build up each figure, starting with the feet and gradually working
up to the head, with its separate strands of ruffled ceramic
The porcelain, which hardens if allowed to stand, is applied
in quick slashes by the artist's fingers. The colors, as many
as 25 for each figurine, are applied separatel between firings
but in such a faschion that when the figure is complete, green
runs into blue runs into purple. In conventional porcelain figures,
most of which are made by use of molds, the color of the face,
the garment and the body are as shaply defined as the parts
of the figure the color.
The figurines are from 6 to 10 inches in height and cost from
about $40 to $60 each.
There are smaller items, how ever, by Moretto and Colombo, who
sign each piece, costing as low as $5.