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Quinta dos Vales's sculptures are hewn from a variety of materials using various techniques. Some are sculpted in Portuguese marble from Estremoz, while others are shaped from stones ripped from our very own fields, which consist of sedimentary limestone and include generous amounts of sea-life remains, while a small part are carved in wood or cast in bronze. However most of the sculptures are molded in fiberglass and poliester resin. In any case it all begins with the same process: the artist creates a model in either clay or plaster on a basic wire skeleton mounted on a wooden base, this is then handed to an assistant who then replicates it on a larger scale under the artist's supervision who will then carry out the finishing touches.
The fibreglass sculptures are replicated from models using polystyrene blocks as a basis which are then cut and trimmed until the correct form is achieved. Before the resin and fibreglass can be applied in several layers, the base needs to be sealed in order to avoid it collapsing or melting because of the fumes from the resin. While some sculptures are then left “au naturel”, where the fibre is easily identified under the paint, the finer ones are obtained by applying a filler over the sculpture and sanding it meticulously until a smooth finish is obtained. In either case the final piece is then protected with a synthetic undercoat ready for final coloring and/or decoration with synthetic or acrylic paints.
Our smaller replicas in either bronze or ceramics are obtained by applying modern techniques to traditional molding methods.