What is Lithophane?

A lithophane is an artwork in very thin translucent porcelain that can only be seen clearly when backlit. The picture appears in grey tones. There are common types of lithophane which imitate engraving or photography, but my own version of this technique is closer connected to sculpture. 

In European factories around 1820 it turned out that up to about 60% of the porcelains would warp or crack in the kiln causing them to become useless. Finished lithophanes are somewhere between one sixteenth of an inch thin to almost a quarter inch (1.5 to 6mm) thick (source - Wikipedia).

My decision was to create Holy Images, Christian Icons, in this technique, and I started working on it during my diploma year at the Art Academy (Stroganov Moscow State Academy of Industrial and Applied Arts). I went so far as to make lithophanes by the method of slip casting, which some other professional ceramic artists think is impossible, and I succeeded.

 

However, about 60% of the pieces warp or crack,  but this is all improving with every new piece. Of course, I have an aspiration of creating lithophanes with 0% reject, but it is quite unlikely ever to happen.

It is utterly important for me to make no more than 10 replicas (usually 2-5), and to then start a completely new work. Sometimes there is only a single copy.

Location

Strange as it may seem, there aren't many studios for artists to rent in Moscow, and fewer that I can currently afford. I started with, literally, the corner of my friend's studio, but now I feel  lucky to have the opportunity to rent some space for myself. It's quite small, but, to a good extent, adapted for the needs of the creative and technical process.

 

I moved studio from the west to the east of Moscow, I studied in the north and I live in the south.

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Irina
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Some of the lithophanes presented on this website are offered for purchase. To find out about the availability of the piece or to commission a new artwork, please use the form below.

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