Porcelain Hindu Deities Designed by Spain's Brand Lladró – Limited Edition
Celebrating its 70th year, the Spain-born brand Lladró, renowned for its handcrafted porcelain sculptures, is expanding its Spirit of India collection with new limited-edition idols inspired by Hindu mythology.
Celebrating its 70th year, the Spain-born brand Lladró, renowned for its handcrafted porcelain sculptures, is expanding its Spirit of India collection with new limited-edition idols inspired by Hindu mythology. In addition, the brand is inaugurating its second-largest store in India, located on MG Road in New Delhi.
This collection, introduced in 2000, has continually evolved in terms of design and now features two exquisite sculptures: a limited edition Radha Krishna on a Swing crafted from high-quality porcelain (limited to 399 units), and the Ram Darbar with a golden re-deco matte finish, symbolizing love, friendship, devotion, and family happiness.
In an exclusive conversation with Lladró's creative director, Nieves Contreras, we gain insight into the intricate process behind creating these sculptures, from conceptualization and design research to the meticulous assembly of the final product. Nieves, who is presently in India to immerse herself in the country's culture and heritage for an upcoming project, emphasizes the complexity and meticulousness of working with high-quality porcelain.
"It takes nearly a year and a half to develop a sculpture," says Nieves. "We create our own porcelain, colors, and glazes. The initial model is sculpted in clay, which is soft, and then transformed into a plaster model that allows us to create molds. One sculpture comprises multiple molds. For example, crafting Radha Krishna on a swing required 60 molds."
The journey of curating a sculpture at Lladró commences with thorough research. The Spirit of India collection emerged after the brand's team embarked on several journeys to India to explore its history. Nieves explains that Lladró's predominantly Spanish artists are captivated by iconography. "Lladró has always been about narratives and emotions," she notes. "Drawing inspiration from and paying tribute to Hindu spiritual imagery is profound and enriching for us. We initiated with deities and subsequently crafted pieces inspired by spiritual leaders such as Mother Teresa and Mahatma Gandhi to convey universal emotions and values. When it comes to Hindu pieces, it allows us to create intricate sculptures and elevate the craftsmanship of porcelain to the highest level."
The delicate, pastel-hued figurines, adorned with intricate details ranging from floral arrangements to fine jewelry, bear European aesthetics in their features. Krishna is depicted with hazel eyes, while Radha has blue eyes. Nieves elaborates, "Lladró's teams in India visit temples to gather information, and we consult with a Hindu priest with whom we share the sculpture creation process. We exchange sketches to ensure we accurately convey the symbols and discuss details like colors and jewelry." For the Radha-Krishna sculpture, Nieves reveals that the brand's team collaborated with the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and visited Vrindavan. "The process is so elaborate that we have specialized teams for creating flowers; for instance, every flower petal is painstakingly handmade and then meticulously placed on the piece. Separate molds are used for the arms and heads. Before firing, we assemble them and apply 24k gold, petals, and more. Most pieces undergo multiple kiln firings," she adds.