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porcelain horse chestnut sculpture

by Lorraine Taylor and Nicky Smart
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  • the story

Porcelain Imposter

Even to the naked eye, this handmade porcelain horse chestnut sculpture looks impossibly like the real thing. The proportions, six layers of glaze, and hand-positioned spikes form an object that is perfectly true to life - right down to the graceful pewter twig. Part of the husk is removable, revealing a pair of beautifully polished chestnuts inside. Like their natural counterparts, each sculpture is slightly different, a unique piece to be treasured by any nature lover. Handmade in England by Lorraine Taylor and Nicky Smart of Penkridge Ceramics.

  • details
Item ID
Made from
porcelain ECO silk paper
4.5" L x 3.25" W x 3.25" H
Image above shows two sculptures.
  • the maker
Lorraine Taylor and Nicky Smart

Lorraine Taylor and Nicky Smart

Lorraine Taylor and Nicky Smart's Penkridge Ceramics began in 1984 in Penkridge, a village in Staffordshire, England. They specialize in making super realistic replicas of fruits, vegetables and nuts. Resembling still life paintings and organic forms, these delicious hand painted sculptures have been featured in galleries, museums and BBC television shows.

For their fruit pieces, Taylor and Smart select a fruit specimen that they wish to recreate. They gravitate towards interesting shapes and ones that look orchard-grown rather than supermarket perfect.

Next, the artists make molds of several pieces of fruit out of plaster. After the molds dry, they begin the casting process using liquid clay. Each piece goes through six glazes. The different kiln-firings create depth, color and texture.

Finally, the pieces are hand painted, including quirky blemishes and imperfections. Sculptor Alan Ballantyne assists the two women by providing hand painted pewter leaves and twigs for the porcelain sculptures.

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