Monday, July 22 2019


Inspiration Porcelain

Raul Rubio
Only 12 when he started spending hours with porcelain, Raúl Rubio followed his father’s footsteps and embraced the fi ne art of sculpting with utmost passion. He talks to Priyanka Chakrabarti about the intricacies of inspired designs.
Born in Valencia, Raúl Rubio is the most anticipated sculptor working with the iconic brand Lladró. Coming from a family of sculptors, Raúl started venturing into the aspects of this art form since he was 12. “I come from a family where my father was also in the same profession, and my family has been extremely supportive in my journey, especially my father – he has been the most instrumental in my growth so far. I was very young when I decided to enter this profession and Lladró has always respected the handmade trades as a part of its savoirfaire. And that for me is a commendable achievement, which also inspires me to work for them,” says the Spanish artist.
Rubio graduated with a degree in Fine Arts from the Polytechnic University of Valencia. In 2000 he joined Lladró – “Thanks to a scholarship from the brand’s Art School,” he says. After two and a half years of apprenticeship, he joined Lladró’s team of sculptors at the age of 27. “I have been working for Lladró for the past ten years now,” he adds. Talking about his association with the 59-year-old company, Rubio says, “To my mind Lladró represents the excellence of an artistic and technical challenge; thanks to the absolute control of the medium porcelain.”
When it comes to this material that has become synonymous with elegance and grace, Rubio claims that a sculptor never starts working directly on porcelain. “We always sculpt on clay or plasticine taking into account all the particularities of porcelain because the fi nal product will be on this material. Once the Creativity Committee approves of an idea, the artist starts the development of the sculpture. By using the modelling techniques fi rst on clay or plasticine, the sculptor gives shape, volume and form to the project. Finally he has clarity about the concept and then continues on a more rigid material, mostly the plaster, which defi nes the details, textures and motives that eventually give shape to the original result,” he explains.
Rubio feels passionately about the whole process of sculpting, particularly the initial sketching phase, which he regards as the most creative part of the whole process. He is very comfortable with his role, and is convinced of the possibility of always being able to improve.
He is the sculptor of Rama and Sita, a creation that is a part of a scene to be completed shortly with the addition of two more characters: Lakshmana and Hanuman, representing the quartet from Rama Darbar. However, of all the sculptures he has conceptualised, he is particularly proud of his series of four Ganeshas (with bansuri, veena, mridangam and a dancing effi gy), made in both an open series as well as in a limited edition series.
When not sculpting, this young artist is very fond of creating 3D cartoons in his spare time. “In this profession, each day I wake up to a brand new challenge,” he explains of his passion for experimentation.
Talking of contemporary art and its evolution over the decades, the sculptor says, “Since the dawning of the early nineties, the view of contemporary art has been changing, although the pace is slow. However, with the dashes of globalisation and postmodernism, the face of contemporary art has undergone a revolution.” Ideas and concepts come naturally to Rubio. “Once I have an outline of what I want to create, an in-depth research needs to be done to perfect the sculpture and to showcase the idea behind it,” Rubio explains.
And yet he goes on to add that he has no particular muse. “I draw inspiration from everything that comes my way; whether a picture or a new place that I am visiting. The ray of inspiration can be lit even in my darkest nights.”
Raúl Rubio working his fine nuances on porcelain.
Rubio’s Rama and Sita sculptures
Lladró, fi ne crafters of porcelain since 1953

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