Manufacturing the figures
Here’s why each and every figure by Arte Barsanti represents a high quality work
Arte Barsanti has been manufacturing plaster figures since 1900, always following the methods handed down from generation to generation. We invite you to discover how our plaster figures are born. You will get to know in depth the fascinating world of figurinai (“figure-makers”), step by step.
The preparation of the mixture is carried out by mixing powdered alabastrine plaster and water. After it is ready, the phase of “casting” starts: the liquid plaster is poured in the casts, which are nowadays in silicone or latex and were once in caoutchouc. The exceeding plaster is removed, and a second casting is performed. This process is repeated for three times, so that the figure gets the right thickness.
The following phase is “drying”: twenty minutes after having been casted, the piece must be removed from the cast by paying attention not to damage its fragile parts. The piece is then put in an oven in order to dry it out and eliminate the humidity it has inside.
After it has been dried, the figure proceeds to the following phase: “refining”. The piece, which is still unpolished after it has been removed from the cast, is refined through some small spatulas. During this phase, the figure is checked: it must not have imperfections, which are in case fixed. The figure is then smoothed so that it is ready for the following phase.
Sometimes it is not possible to make some protruding parts of the figures directly from the cast, because they might break. In these cases, it is necessary to add them afterwards, through a process called “assembling”.
Nothing’s left but giving life to the figure by colouring it, rigorously by hand. Colouring is carried out with a brush, following the methods and traditions Arte Barsanti has being passing down for three generations.