Andrea Roggi, Sculptor

1 Nov

It would be impossible to separate Andrea Roggi from his art, or nature from this man – a poet, painter, artist and sculptor, who has never lost his childlike curiosity for life, nature and human potential.

©Andrea Roggi

©Andrea Roggi

His theme epitomizes his work: Love and Creativeness Make the World Go Around.  And when you enter The Circle of Life Art Gallery in Cortona, you are simply in awe of the man and his passion.

Circle of Life Art Gallery, photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

Circle of Life Art Gallery, photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

Circle of Life Art Gallery, photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

Circle of Life Art Gallery, photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

Circle of Life Art Gallery, photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

Circle of Life Art Gallery, photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

Len and I had the good fortune of meeting Andrea and were invited to his nearby studio, situated in his Parco della Creatività. We were quickly surrounded by Andrea’s artistic passion, as well as his goal of bringing art enthusiasts, young and old, together.

Parco della Creatività, photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

Parco della Creatività, photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

 

Parco della Creatività, photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

Parco della Creatività, photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

This wonderful sculpture is called Family in Flight – think, be and fly together.

Parco della Creatività , photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

Parco della Creatività, photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

Parco della Creatività, photo permission, ©Blogginginitaly.com

In 1991, Andrea set up his workshop, La Scultura di Andrea Roggi, where he works with bronze and marble to create small to very large-sized pieces. He uses the complex and detailed long casting process to transform his drawings and clay models into incredible bronze sculptures.

Andrea, along with Chiara, one of his staff, patiently led us through the process.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

I hope my photos depict even a little of the complexity involved in this ancient process. All of the written info that follows comes from  The Circle of Life Gallery: The Lost Wax Technique.

The lost-wax technique, for casting large, hollow bronze statues, has been known since ancient times. Through the forming step, the artist makes a mould of the original clay sculpture, revealing a “negative” impression which can be later used to produce multiple copies (replicas).

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

During the wax pouring step, molten wax is introduced into the mould and allowed to cool.

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

This wax copy is then “sprued”, i.e. fitted with a treelike structure of wax rods, called “sprues” which, by converging on the same point, will serve as channels for the molten bronze to flow through and as air vents for gases to escape.

Subsequently, during the wax chasing step, heated metal tools are used to carefully rub out any imperfections and to redefine the details. Then the reworked, sprued wax copy is dressed and coated with refractory plaster (to obtain a so-called “ceramic shell”).

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

Next, the burnout stage takes place, during which the ceramic shell-coated piece is placed in a kiln, where the plaster becomes strong and the wax melts down and runs out (hence the term “lost wax”), emptying the space previously occupied and leaving a detailed impression within the shell.

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

This empty ceramic shell (which represents a second negative mould) will receive during casting the molten bronze, poured in at a temperature of about 1,100 °C (about 2,000 °F).

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

The filled shell is allowed to cool and finally broken off to reveal the rough metal casting.

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

At this point, the parts of the sculpture are welded together and the bronze sculpture undergoes  extensive metal chasing, which includes surface smoothing (raspinatura, to remove all tell-tale signs of the casting process) and detail chiseling (cesellatura).

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

In the last stage, the surface is varnished by applying the so-called patina, which gives the bronze its final and unique color qualities, while avoiding a rapid oxidation and enhancing the aesthetic value of the sculpture.

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

Andrea Roggi with permission ©Blogginginitaly.com

Andrea told us that while his original drawings and molds are the beginning of each creation, he works each and every piece to his satisfaction throughout the process, thus, no two pieces are exactly the same.

Inspired primarily by nature and his family, he has produced a number of public artworks in Italy, located mainly in Tuscany and Umbria, but found in other countries as well.

In Memory of Aviators sits between Piazza Garibaldi and the park in Cortona.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

And a life-sized statue dedicated to native Roberto Benigni, (Life is Beautiful), can be found in Parco della Creatività.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Finally, while touring the facility, I noticed a small sculpture that had been formed but was not yet complete. I asked if I could pick it up. It was a small sculpture of a man and woman reaching into an olive tree, something especially meaningful to us this year. And it seemed to have my name on it.

©Blogginginitaly.com

©Blogginginitaly.com

Soon, Io vivo in Te, (I live in you) will be going home with us.

Grazie mille, Andrea, for sharing your time, passion and extraordinary talent with us. Our day spent with you will be one we will always treasure.

Ciao,
Judy

Note: For those who plan to visit Cortona, be sure to add the gallery to your must see list, and please say hello for me.

For more info:
The Circle of Life Gallery
Via Casali n.6, 52044, Cortona, Italy.
Telephone:+39 0575 653125
thecircleoflifeartgallery@gmail.com

9 Responses to “Andrea Roggi, Sculptor”

  1. Peter November 1, 2015 at 4:54 PM #

    I remember going to the gallery last year. Your photos bring back vivid memories of just how magnificent the sculptures are. Glad you acquired one of these great pieces.

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly November 2, 2015 at 3:33 AM #

      Peter, I knew you’d remember being there. We are so happy to now own one ourselves.

      Like

  2. DreamDiscoverItalia.com November 1, 2015 at 5:47 PM #

    Wow wow wow! What fabulous sculptures, thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. jean November 1, 2015 at 7:55 PM #

    Wonderful, Judy! We have bronze sculptures created by the lost wax technique done by a friend. Unless they are being done in pieces to be assembled as a hollow sculpture later, the lost wax sculptures are solid bronze.
    We have our friend’s maquette ( a smaller model used to scale up to a larger sculpture) of a reclining figure that is in a garden in front of an insurance company in Toronto.
    We certainly couldn’t fit the final bronze in our living room as you can see 🙂
    http://www.dittwald.com/torontosculpture/image.php?Artist=Fillion&Title=Reclining%20Figure

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly November 2, 2015 at 3:44 AM #

      Such an amazing process to learn about. As yes, yours is a bit large for your living room!

      Like

  4. jean November 2, 2015 at 10:51 AM #

    I wondered who had done the Leonardo sculpture.
    You wouldn’t happen to know the story of the bronze figures in the Parterre fountain? They are two human figures who are upside down in a struggle with two creatures who have the heads of what look like fish or French dolphins but whose bodies have become snakes. I’d love to know the story behind that tableau.

    Liked by 1 person

    • blogginginitaly November 2, 2015 at 10:58 AM #

      I don’t know about he figures in the fountain but I will ask around and see what I find out.

      Like

  5. Sandra Chiarandini November 2, 2015 at 1:08 PM #

    Beautiful!
    I would like to inquire about the memorial to the 600 lost Cortonesi in the war located in the entrance to the Park. Very moving

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Diana November 4, 2015 at 4:39 AM #

    wow! Fantastic! truly beautiful!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

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