My cribs

My cribs are made with different techniques, as you can see.

The fusion of these techniques make the landscape very realistic.

One of these techniques is the

Catalan technique:

  • better known as the gypsum technique (the type of plaster that I use is really cheap scagliola plaster and I don’t use alabaster or other derivatives), it is a very ancient technique born in Catalonia with a pretty nice story, that is a crib, having finished glue for sticking cork in the crib, he didn’t know how to proceed with the work. A mason near his house was kneading plaster, but the quantity was higher than what he needed, so the crib came up and asked him if he could take advantage of the extra plaster and from that day with the evolution of this extraordinary technique, we can reproduce landscapes very similar to reality. Obviously we need to find the right support to apply the scagliola, in my case I use polystyrene or polystyrene of various types, ie extruded or expanded (the expanded one is simply the one with small dots, while the extruded one is the compact one without dots) that must be wisely assembled, cutting with a cutter (cutter) or hot cutter that can be built or purchased; in this regard, I take this opportunity to advise you on Proxoon.
    Let’s look at the landscapes in detail. The mountains in depth can be built with shaped polystyrene and gypsum spatulated with great skill, or another technique can be used, namely that of

extruded polystyrene carved or glued to mosaic.

  • With a polystyrene support, once the structure is made, shaping houses, with the predisposition of doors and windows, you need to glue the bricks one by one (the bricks must be cut and worked giving a texture both before and after gluing them), technique very laborious that guarantees an extremely realistic result.
    Another variant is to use extruded polystyrene by cutting directly with a pencil or with a small balsa / gouge size (in theory, even scalpels are good), even in this case, the surface must be ruined both before and after incision of stones (a little advice is to press some stones to make them seem lower, the feeling that you will have will be that of an irregular wall).

As for the coloring instead, I use many techniques, just to not fossilize myself and to obtain different nativity scenes.

Here are the techniques I use:

The technique of earth and / or pigments fixed with natural glues

(for example rabbit glue, obtained from just the rabbit skin, the only drawback is that you have to prepare a little at a time otherwise it deteriorates and gives off a bad smell) acrylic binders (they are synthetic glues with different formulas, more modern, they do not deteriorate easily in phase of preparation), this technique involves the use of pure powder colors obtained from minerals, or oxides, but also from natural elements such as plants or country soil for example. This material is readily available, but in extreme cases you can create them at home. Sometimes to fade, use of the earth found in the countryside, filtering and pulverizing it with a blender, black is obtained with the flame of a candle, blackening porcelain or metal objects and then scratching the material, you get a black powder which acts as an acrylic adhesive. For this technique I create a palette, I imbibe the glue brush and I take only the color I need, I spread it on a plastic saucer and create various shades, just like when painting a landscape on a canvas. This technique allows to obtain an artistic result but, above all, realistic at the sight of the spectator.
The second method is to wash the stones with acrylics or pigments, this is used to give color washes, glazes of color, it allows to change some shades obtaining effects (for example molds or humidity in some points as in proximity to gutters or under the eaves).
Oil colors can also be used very diluted with trielline and / or linseed oil (be careful
to the quantities because the polystyrene could melt).

Another technique is that of shaded acrylics with a technique I designed

this involves the use of sponges to remove and blend colors in a non-schematic way. Writing does not allow a clear and effective explanation, but, in my last video course, this technique is shown and widely explained. This technique impressively facilitates the way of painting. I recommend it especially to the less experienced, because spectacular results are obtained with a unique simplicity.

I conclude with the vegetation, rigorously and integrally made by hand, with natural elements treated like teloxis, grasses and other plants; I usually use any plant that I find in nature but also plants constructed with paper (yucca) with lead in sheet or with crushed extruded polystyrene (agaves and other succulent plants).

I make Ulivi, cypresses and palms entirely made by hand. Take a look at the photos of my creations and for any info you can contact me quietly in private through my e-mail.

This post is also available in: Italian

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