The first step in the production of a saint figure is the creation of the original model. In the past, the workshop had a room which was used only by the sculptors, who shaped the clay or carved the models which had been ordered.
What often takes place today is the modification of already existing models. Old figures are used to make new ones, and only certain attributes, colors or parts are changed. In addition, the factory has an external service to make new wooden carved models.
A first mould is taken from the original model, and this is used as the base for serial reproduction.
These moulds are held together by a counter-mould known as a "charpa".
The "charpas" are made of paste, burlap and wood, and are used as reinforcement. Normally, 2 "charpas" and 2 moulds are made for each image, and these represent the negative impression of the face and back of the figure (see drawing).
If the figure has complicated parts these are set aside to be added at a later stage. For example, if a figure has a raised arm, extending from the rest of the figure, this piece is usually molded as a separate piece and later fixed onto the figure.
On the "charpa" another mould is made, this time a gelatin-like compound is used, and it is this mould which will be used to make serial reproductions of the figures. Three to nine images can be taken from each mould before it has to be reconstructed.
The gelatin compound is heated in a bain-marie, poured into the mould, and is left to cool until it has solidified to the consistency of soft plastic. The leftover gelatin compound is recycled, a process in keeping with the company's policy of respect for the environment.
Once the gelatin mould has been formed, the next step is the casting of the figure in cardboard-wood plaster compound. The gelatin mould is covered with the compound, without filling it up too much, so as to avoid excess weight. Once this first layer has dried, a second coat is added, this one mixed with burlap, the larger figures images are reinforced with wooden pegs. Plaster compound is then added around both of the mould casings before the two sections are finally closed together.
When the plaster compound is sufficiently dry, it is removed from the gelatin mould and the rough image is taken out, the joint lines of the two sections can be seen, and in many cases the parts which have been molded separately still have to be added. The same gelatin compound is used to make both moulds and figures
The plaster statue now has to be trimmed and finished off. This takes pace in the Finishing Room, where the workers sharpen contours, insert glass eyes and add the missing parts to the statue.
The most thankless tasks of the entire process take place in this room, as an image will be looked over some ten times and a defect will always be found somewhere. Although this work is not obvious once the statue has been finished, it is very important. To give you an idea, approximately half of our 35 workers work in this section. The tools used are primarily: sandpaper, modeling tools and plaster compound
After passing through the finishing room the figure is ready to be painted. There is a variety of decorative processes, according to the class of figure required.
Paint is applied by hand. However before painting the figures are given a spray-coating of waterproofing undercoat which also facilitates painting. This process is called "encarnado", the fleshing.
The paints used are generally oil-based (with turpentine) although emulsion based paints are used for some colors or determined models.
El Arte Cristiano can offer all the images in its catalogue from 60 to 200 cm with the new weatherproof materials, including fibreglass and resin, in addition to the possibility of crafting its images with fine materials like cast bronze, Portland cement and stone.
These are new materials that have previously been tested, whose reistance and hardness allows the scupltures to be displayed outdoors.
Statues over 60 cm can be made with these materials without either halo or glass eyes.
The materials and finishes are as follows:
Composition of the material: polyester resin whith calcium carbonate..
Finish: electrolyte bath of copper alloy and other metals and finished with a bronze patina.
The statues can measure between 60 and 120 cm.
This material is extemely weather-resistant. The statues made with fibreglass can measure between 60 and 200 cm and have neither halo nor glass eyes.
Composition of the material: Polyester gelcoat resin with fibre reinforcements.
Finish: paim, water-based, non-toxic matte enamel that is extremely hard an resistant.
|Cast in fiberglass with a White Natural marble finish||Textured stone finish|
|Cast Marble, natural finish||Natural Stone finish|
|Cast in resin and finished with a layer of real bronze metal|
This line aims to be and homage to the great sculptors who have worked with our company throughout ther 125 years (Llimona, Blay, Devesa, Ache, Trayte and many others).
With this line, we offer ther chance to render any of our models larger than 60 cm in carved wood, decorated without either halo aor glass eyes.
The most important feature of thes sculptures is the importance given to the craft of sculpting and the scarce use of machinery.
The sculpture can be made with three types of decorations