Techniques and Materials
Quinta dos Vales's sculptures are hewn from a variety of materials using various techniques. Some are sculpted in Portuguese marble from Estremoz, while others are shaped from stones ripped from our very own fields, which consist of sedimentary limestone and include generous amounts of sea-life remains, while a small part are carved in wood or cast in bronze. However most of the sculptures are molded in fiberglass and poliester resin. In any case it all begins with the same process: the artist creates a model in either clay or plaster on a basic wire skeleton mounted on a wooden base, this is then handed to an assistant who then replicates it on a larger scale under the artist's supervision who will then carry out the finishing touches.
Our fiberglass sculptures are replicated form these models using polystyrene blocks as a basis which are then cut and trimmed until the final form is achieved; before the resin and fiberglass can be applied in several layers the basis needs to be sealed in order to avoid that it collapses or melts because of the fumes from the resin. While some are then left “au naturel”, where the fiber is easily identified under the paint, the finner ones are obtained by applying a filler over the sculptures and sanding meticulously until a smooth finish is obtained, in either case the final piece is then protected with a synthetic under-coating ready for final coloring and/or decoration with synthetic or acrylic paints. Our smaller original replicas in either bronze or ceramics are obtained by applying modern techniques to traditional molding methods.
See and read more about how our ceramic sculptures are produced here.