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Wall Flowers: Valeria Nascimento’s Porcelain Wall Sculptures

Posted By Dominique Bivar Segurado On July 14, 2010 @ 7:39 am In Ceramic Sculpture,Daily,Features | 27 Comments

Flower, by Valéria Nascimento, 2008. Size: 100 x 100 cm (391/2 x 391/2 in.). Royal porcelain fired to 1260ºC (2300°F), mounted on wooden backing. Photo by Christopher Pillitz.

Flower, by Valéria Nascimento, 2008. Size: 100 x 100 cm (391/2 x 391/2 in.). Royal porcelain fired to 1260ºC (2300°F), mounted on wooden backing. Photo by Christopher Pillitz.

I love Brazilian ceramic artist Valéria Nascimento’s work. Her delicate, ultra-thin porcelain wall pieces seem to defy gravity. Ah yes, “Flower,” pictured at left, or “Roses,” pictured below, would be just perfect hanging on my living room wall (though it’s probably not the best idea considering the fact that I have a toddler).

Aside from being beautiful, these pieces are mounted on the wall in what I consider to be a pretty ingenious way. Valéria uses galvanized flathead nails and glue (check with your supplier to determine the best glue to use) to affix her pieces to a wood backer, which is then hung. The nails are hidden due to the height and size of the porcelain pieces, giving the work a light, airy feel. – Jennifer Harnetty, editor.

 


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Fig.1 Hammering galvanized nails into position on the wooden backing.

Fig.1 Hammering galvanized nails into position on the wooden backing. Click to enlarge!

Valéria Nascimento often uses wood as a backing material to support and express her ideas. She has a sensitive and captivating approach to clay, with an understanding of space and the urban landscape from her experience as a qualified architect.

Each piece of the porcelain is cut individually and formed from a thin textural slab. Once a selection of sizes is made and they have been through the kiln firing of 1260°C (2300°F), the wooden backing is cut to the required size and painted by a carpenter. Nascimento uses a variety of wood, from oak to MDF (if the surface needs to be painted).

Fig.2 Gluing fired porcelain ceramics into position, working from the centre outwards. Click to enlarge!

Fig.2 Gluing fired porcelain ceramics into position, working from the centre outwards. Click to enlarge!

Everything is then prepared for the installation of the ceramics; a selection of sizes and lengths of galvanized flathead nails are gathered to support the pieces. Starting from the centre and working outwards, the longer nails are used in the center and the smaller nails nearer to the outside. The flat heads of the nails provide a good surface to attach the ceramics to, and make it easy when hammering them into the wood. The varying height of the nails helps to add variety and depth to the whole piece.

Once each nail is in the correct position, Nascimento begins to join the porcelain pieces, working from the center outwards, using an adhesive to glue the ceramic gently into position on each nail head. As there are a large number of pieces, the wood backing acts as a clean and unobtrusive surface, allowing the viewer to focus only on the ceramics. The nails are hidden due to the height of the porcelain. The larger pieces of ceramics on the outer edges are stuck directly on to the wooden backing, and also help to disguise the nails.

 
Gluing remaining larger fired porcelain pieces into place. Click to enlarge!

Gluing remaining larger fired porcelain pieces into place. Click to enlarge!

Nascimento is mainly inspired by the natural world, conveying this through her interest in the elements of repetition, and the sequence the forms take using this approach. Her main interest is with larger-scale wall pieces and installations; as the scale increases the opportunity for echoing the visual concept grows too. Using the wooden backing is key to making the ideas a reality. In some of Nascismento’s other wall pieces, she has used wood as a backing and created a large circular recess within the wooden frame within which the ceramic pieces sit. The wooden recess creates a perfect frame effect which shows off the ceramics very successfully

Roses, by Valeria Nascimento, Royal porcelain fired to 1260 degrees celsius.

Roses, by Valeria Nascimento, Royal porcelain fired to 1260 degrees celsius.

To learn more about Valéria Nascimento or see more images of her work, visit http://valerianascimento.com/.


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