The pottery that we know as porcelain was first transformed by the Chinese approximately one thousand years ago. This pottery or porcelain then took hundreds of years to evolve to where it is today. As the process of washing and purifying the clay, adding different materials that permitted the firing at a very high temperature. (Approximately 1400 degrees centigrade.)
The word porcelain came from the term Porcellana, used by Marco Polo to describe the white ceramic figures, he discovered during his historical travel to the Orient. Porcelain was introduced to Europe in the 1500’s.
In the 1700’s the secret of the clay mixture used by the Chinese, was discovered by Johann Bottger and the Dresden Meissen Porcelain became known. Porcelain came to be viewed by the European Royalty, as a highly prized luxury product.
In 1953, from a small farming community near the city of Valencia, Spain came three brothers, Juan, Jose & Vicente Lladro. They attended Valencia School of Arts & Craft, While the family depended on farming for livelihood, the brothers followed their dreams and born abilities of the fine arts. Juan and Jose studied drawing, while Vicente studied sculpting. They built a kiln in their backyard , and began experimenting with the new firing and finishing techniques.
Their first Lladro retail shop, opened in Valencia in 1955, in 1958 they moved from their small workshop at their family home, to a larger factory workshop in a nearby town called Tabernas . A major growth period for Lladro occurred in the 1960’s where the Tabernas workshop was enlarged 7 times.
In the 1970’s, their workshop was as large as the city, now called the city of porcelain. Lladro now employs over 2000 people and maintains retail shops in Europe, New York, Williamsburg, VA, Miami, Beverly Hills, Hong Kong, Sidney to name a few., markets its creations in over 100 countries.
What is the City of Porcelain?
All Lladro figurines are made in the City of Porcelain, a spectacular complex measuring some 100,000 sq. ft. just outside Valencia, Spain. About 2,000 people work there, most of whom are artisans. The complex is comprised of studios, laboratories, warehouses, office buildings,and showroom.
Visit The City of Porcelain
In order to visit the complex where expert artisans make Lladro figurines you must be a Lladro Privilege member. If you are, you can e-mail LLadro providing them with your membership number as stated on your membership card. You must also provide your full name and number of people accompanying you. Also provide the precise date and timeof the planned visit.. LLadro Customer Service will contact you to confirm your visit. They do not accept drop ins.
What is Lladro Privilege?
LLadro have created a unique world of privileges with the access to a growing new collection of exclusive figurines and privileged services. This figurines are only available to the enrolled members, although some are available in the secondary Market,
How can you Tell If A Figurine Is An Authentic Lladro Porcelain?
Lladro is famous for their porcelain which is of the finest quality, Only those figurines that pass strict quality controls are stamped with an identifier burned onto the base of each figurine to guarantee the authenticity of each piece.
Since each piece is made following manual techniques as indicated by tradition, each piece is unique. Despite coming from the same mould, two pieces are never exactly the same even when made by the same artist.
What are Limited Editions?
Limited Editions are collections that are issued in a limited number of copies. These pieces are accompanied by a certificate signed by a member of the Lladro family, accrediting the series number and providing information on the artists taking part in its creation.
Society Member Pieces ?
Society Member Pieces are special figurines made for Society Members only. These began production in 1985 through 2000. The 1985 Figurine was name Little Pal which sold for $85.00 for Society Members only, now if you can find it expect to pay as much as $3500.00 for this same piece.
The Lladro Gres Collection
The Lladro Gres Collection draws its inspiration from the colors of the earth, gres uses glaze deposits on the surface of the piece. When subjected to high temperatures, these glazes never crystallize in an identical manner, showing slightly different color effects. This makes each gres piece in the collection a unique and unrepeatable creation.
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