HOW WE WORK
Raw Material: The Wood
Our workshop uses wood as its raw material. The first phase of execution begins long before the initiating of the work. To prevent the wood from cracking, or deteriorating rapidly over time, it must be properly dried for at least one year. Our workshop has its own drying warehouse where the wooden planks rest while they wait for the moment to be used.
We use numerous types of wood depending on the purpose and place for which the final work is intended.
The images and decorative motifs are usually carved in ayous (also known as abachi, obeche or samba) or linden; on some specific occasions we also use red cedar wood. For the liturgical furniture we use pine wood.
One of the products in which we put the most effort when it comes to achieving greater resistance and lightness is the processional thrones. Our carpenters are specialists in the construction of light litters, of all sizes, both small with four loaders, and large with twenty or forty float-carriers.
As important as the type of wood is the final finish that is applied. We have several types, which we can divide into two: Wood Finishes and Priming Finishes (calcium sulfate).
A walnut stain applied directly to wood.
Like the previous one, it is applied directly on the wood, it consists of applying dyes in different tones on the wood, so that the flesh, the tunic, the cape are distinguished.
Plain or Simple Polychrome
Finished in paint, in a realistic style, imitating carnations, using different colors in the clothes, but without golden decoration.
Pictorial technique which is imitating the veins of marble in different tones. This technique is frequently used in liturgical furniture.
This is possibly the artisan technique that has changed the least since the Middle Ages, since practically the same procedures are still used. Gold leaf is beaten sheets of a gold alloy. Depending on the amount of gold, greater purity and a different hue are obtained. There are two types of gold leaf: normal gold and gold of law, also called fine gold, of 24 carats.
There are two ways to adhere the gold leaf: with mixture and with water.
Normal gold leaf is bonded to the surface with a varnish, commonly known as mixtion.
The sterling gold leaf is adhered to the surface with distilled water.Once adhered, the gold is burnished with an agate stone. The result is a completely smooth surface with a brilliant shine.
One of the most used decorative techniques in imagery is Sgraffiatto, which consists of applying a temple technique on a golden surface. When the paint dries, certain areas of paint are removed so that the gold is released. In our workshop we handle different types of sgraffitto decoration (estofado):
It is a type of sgraffitto that resembles a vintaged surface appearance with a simple sgraffitto decoration.
Sgraffitto decoration (estofado simple)
When the painted gold is dry enough, it’s scratched away with a tool to reveal the gold again, with simple drawings and short lines.
Superior sgraffitto (estofado superior)
Meticulous decoration with vegetal and geometric motifs. Sometimes, painted decorative motifs are applied over the sgraffiatto.