FROM B/W TO COLOR
The blog www.1980style.com is created by Po Ku (B.Arch.,MRAIC).
Website : www.pokuhomes.com
Finding material to represent human skin tone and texture has been the artist's quest since the dawn of civilization.
Realistic representation of the human form or abstract anthropomorphic shapes is enhanced greatly by the appropriate choice of material.
Below are examples of Italian Renaissance sculptures carved in white marble.
Bronze is the material of choice for dark skin. And in this case the lowly black fiberglass is a cheaper and lighter substitute. Lindsey B of England created this black sculpture in 1985.
Rose quartz has been used in Italy by carvers and sculptors since Roman times. The Italian pink marble which is highly translucent actually resembles pink skin.
For a while in the 1980s, there was a craze to collect Aztec/Mayan clay figures made in Mexico. This human figure was made in burnished terracotta. Admire the skin tone!
In the summer of 1978, I got in touch with Franco Bucci through the Italian Consulate in Toronto. After many months of correspondence by air-mail, I got the right to carry the Bucci line in Canada. In the 70s, Bucci could only write in Italian and I needed to learn Italian really fast. At that time, I had a shop in Alberta specializing in interior design goods from Italy and Scandinavia.
The first time I read about Bucci was in an issue of Abitare in the library of my architecture school in Nova Scotia in 1975. I couldn't help but admire the purity and simplicity of form and proportions of his pieces.
Although the bulk of his product line were tableware and cookware and all were oven and dishwasher safe, each item exuded good taste. It has been thirty-seven years since I've first open a box of Bucci dishes just arrived from Italy. When I look at any piece of his products today, I am still amazed by his consistent good taste.
The pieces were hand-made, but the shapes and details were so precise and unerring that they looked machine made. However, what gave it away was the glaze which was always applied in a free-hand manner. The teapot shown above has that nostalgic look of 19th century enamelware.
Franco Bucci (1933-2002), the renowned potter/ceramicist of Italy, founded the Laboratorio Pesaro in the small city of Pesaro on the east coast of Italy almost directly due east of Florence in 1961. Since the 1950s, Bucci had created pottery that was design-art-utensil-object for day to day use. He was the rare artist that never lost sight of the end usage of his products. He had pledged early on to see his ware used in households throughout the world. But many of his designs ended up in museums. The Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan until the end of the 80s reserved a permanent spot for Bucci's new creations.
In 1958 the famous Sextant Gallery staged a show in Milan for Bucci who was until then unknown in Milan which was the center of the design universe in Europe. In Milan, Bucci met Ettore Sottsass and others and had remained life-long friends with them. Bucci, being the consummate craftsman, was forever experimenting with decreasing the thickness & weight, increasing the temperature resistance and strength of his porcelain. Also being a man of conscience, his laboratory was constantly developing non-toxic and safe material combinations for his products. Bucci the artist and designer, however, was forever in the forefront of European tastemakers and pacesetters.
Franco Bucci and Federico Fabbrini were great friends and colleagues long before the formation of the Laboratorio Pesaro. They collaborated on and off since 1958 when Fabbrini open his workshop near Florence. From 1969 to 1973 both Bucci and Fabbrini worked as designers with Villeroy & Boch of Germany.
While Bucci was a forward looking designer of superb taste in the Modern, Fabbrini was a traditionalist. While Bucci was a worldly artist never timid in incorporating Oriental and Scandinavian ideas and techniques in his own work, Fabbrini was very much into reviving the traditional Italian arts and crafts. His ceramic puppet series was Art in itself.