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Wood -

This is the medium we have been working with for over 130 years, following the tradition of our ancestors. Woodcarvings are valuable for their timeless beauty, becoming more precious with age.

Woodcarvings are valuable for their timeless beauty, becoming more precious with age. Wood itself is loved for its warmth. The character of wood is always preserved weather left in its natural state or lightly finished in oil colors.

Egyptian carving from the 6th century before Christ.



The wood used to create our fine works is called Linden wood or also Lime wood ( Lat. Tilia spp.). We import it from Eastern Europe, cut it and kiln dry it as we need it, this way we are sure to use the best quality pieces. In spring Linden flowers are collected to make a very aromatic herbal tea.

Linden wood is used for carving since it is not too hard, fairly white in color and, when professionally dried, it does not make small cracks as pine wood does. In addition since we use just the ìfirst bullî, i.e. only the trunk to the first branches, it is without knots.Each statue is made out of different laminated wooden pieces.

stück linde

If you want to see the creation of a custom wood carved Corpus from its beginning to the final installation, click here



The Val Gardena tradition of woodcarving dates back to the XVIth century. In those days our ancestors were mountain farmers and during the long and rough winters they spent their time carving little statues of Jesus Christ, wooden frames and toys, which were then sold to traveling merchants and spread throughout the world. The first documented woodcarver was Christian Trebinger in 1615. As centuries went by Val Gardena gained worldwide fame for its woodcarvings production.



The same carving tools used a few hundred years ago are still being used by our talented sculptors. On the first carving stages the artists may use a larger cutting tool with a wooden hammer or in case of very large figures even a chain saw.



The colors used by our studio are regular oil colors. Even if our statues look so polychrome, our artists use only 12 basic colors and mix them to obtain endless varieties, thus each of our works is even in its coloring unique.

Maintenance: Thanks to an opaque lacquer overcoat, simply dusting the statue with a soft cloth will suffice to cleanse it. If necessary, use sparingly some water with a mild soap detergent.

Make sure to avoid any acid chemicals. Since wood is still a living material small cracks or splits can occur mostly caused by changing temperatures and humidity. These do not affect the value of the artistic object but makes it more precious with time.

Fiberglass -

It was 1957 when Mr. Ivo Demetz saw some fiberglass artistic works in London and then at the Liverpool Cathedral which has cast fiberglass doors. Back home with his staff he started testing this new medium and after a few years decided to use it in his studio. Nowadays we have a one-floor workshop of 1.500 sq m or 16,600 sq ft, located just outside Milan (Italy), in which our staff is able to elaborate fiberglass statue in any requested size.

This is an economical choice only in case of repetition work, i.e. when a model and mould already exist, or if larger, custom made statues are ordered.

Fiberglass, which technically speaking is called GRP or glass-reinforced polyester, is similar to plastic, so still a fairly new medium. Its great advantage is that it can be installed outside since it holds up well to the outdoor elements.



To make a fiberglass statue there must be a model from which a mould can be made. The model can be a standard figure as the Piet‡ of Michelangelo, or a custom made figure as the 12 ft ñ 3,60 meter Risen Christ. Our studio has the rights and also owns one of the original full size plaster of the Piet‡ which the Vatican made for the New York EXPO in 1977.

Fiberglass statues in bronze, aluminum or white marble finish, are treated with a special technique so they can hold up to the outdoor elements.

Pietà

Colored statues are decorated by artists who apply oil colors by hand in the traditional way. Colored statues cannot be guaranteed for outdoor use.

Maintenance: As everything, even fiberglass statues especially if installed outdoor need some cleaning once in a while from dust, bird droppings, leaves, etc. For outdoor white, terracotta finishes : wipe clean using a soft sponge, some water and a mild soap detergent at least twice a year.

For outdoor bronze or silver finishes : wipe clean using a soft sponge and some water. Be careful to never do this on sunny warm days! Do not use chemicals.

Bronze -

Bronze head 3000 B.C.E


Bronze bas relief 1.170 A.C.

Metal castings in bronze are probably the most durable art form in existence. Ancient bronze artifacts that are thousands of years old are still found in perfect conditions and put on display in museums all around the world.



The ancient Romans followed the Greeks in the tradition of casting larger bronze statues by using the so called ìlost wax techniqueî. Since then, bronze has become and remained an important medium used for fine art in Italy. Unlike the mass made products of our industrial age, bronze castings using the ìlost wax techniqueî are individually created works of art.







Bronze is an excellent material for outdoor use, because it weathers well and ages gracefully. We now cast not only our standard statues, but also custom figures in bronze or aluminum.

In order to make a bronze or aluminum statue a model in a 1:1 scale is need. All our standard figures can be cast in bronze or aluminum. We also create custom made statues, in which case we make a clay model that is destroyed once the casting process is finished.

The finish on a bronze artifact is called the PATINA. It is given to bronze using a chemical or natural process, and it affects only the surface of the statue. Bronze will age gracefully with time and begin to darken due to the natural oxidation caused by the outside elements. Even with our bronze artifacts we work on order. Thus it is possible at the time of the order to choose the requested initial patina = finish as per our sample board, available at any of our authorized dealers.

Some patinas change more easily and faster than others due to atmospheric conditions, acid rain, water that rests on the surface etc. The darkening process can only be decreased with proper cleaning and sealing. The Demetz Art Studio bronze and aluminum works have a clear coat of sealer, which can be either wax or lacquer to protect the surface. For long lasting artistic beauty we recommend cleaning and waxing at least once a year.

Maintenance : Using a vegetable brush with some water and a mild soap, clean the statue from pollution and remove dirt such as leaves or the ìcore sandî which at times comes from the inside of the statue and produces white spots.

After cleaning the statue, apply some beeswax (look for products like Johnsonís Paste Wax or Trewax) with a soft brush to seal the statue again. Remember not to apply too much wax since it can come off or darken the statue. Let the wax dry properly and then rub the existing wax using a soft wool flannel cloth. The Demetz Art Studio is not responsible for any damage that may occur due to maintenance.

Marble -

pietàMichelangelo

During the Renaissance (1500), when the great Michelangelo Buonarroti created his masterpieces, marble was considered to be the most precious material because of its timeless beauty.

Later on in the Baroque period (1600) Gianlorenzo Bernini left his imprint in the world of ecclesiastical art with his wonderful marble creations.







The Demetz Art Studio uses only he best quality marble from the quarries of Tuscany: bianco puro or bianco duro di Carrara ñ the same marble used by Michelangelo. In 1517 Michelangelo found the ìcavaî di Seravezza on the mountain Altissimo (1589 m.). From here he took big blocks to create the front panels for the Church of St. Lorenzo in Florence. This type of marble is almost practically impervious to the elements.

To find our for yourself how to judge the quality of marble simply knock with a metal bar on any thin part of the statue. The harder the stone, the higher the tone. On poor quality marble the tone is dumb as if you were knocking on a concrete figure.





The stone carving tools used nowadays have not change much from Michelangeloís time. First the rough stone is hammered with a pitching hammer, then sculpted with special pointing tools and files.

 



We create fine marble works from a model in scale or a moquette, using a pointing tool. This is a three dimensional pantograph designed to make proportional calibrations by means of fixed points. To carve directly the marble without a model in scale may be cheaper in cost, but the final result is that often the figure is not correctly in proportion and is badly done.

Maintenance: No special maintenance is required except for occasional cleaning with water and mild soap.

Mosaic -

The art of mosaic lived its greatest splendor during the IV and VIII century, but still today there is a great interest in this art. Mosaics produce wonderful visual effects, and one of the great advantages is that a mosaic can be installed outdoor since it withstands the elements.



With the triumph of Christianity and the consequent building of Christian Churches, mural mosaic becomes one of the highest forms of sacred art. The art of mosaic lived its greatest splendor during the IV and VIII century. Major evidence of this can be seen in Rome, Constantinople, Ravenna and later in Venice.


Sample of Byzantine mosaic


Roman mosaic appr. 90 B.C.

The two mosaic styles known today as Roman and Byzantine originated in this period of time. In the Byzantine tradition mosaics were made of colored glass, gold and Mother of Pearl which gave them an incomparable beauty. This was, without doubt, the most significant moment for mosaics.

The small little pieces used to make a mosaic are called ìTesseraî. They can be either in glass or marble. On the one hand, marble tessera have the advantage of being much harder so better for floor mosaics, but on the other hand the variety of colors is not as large as with glass.

Artistic ìTesseraî are still produced by hand on the island of Murano ( near Venice in Italy), home of the artistic mosaic glass. Colors are melted directly into the glass, which is flattened out and cooled down and finally cut in many small pieces. All this is done by hand, thus making the glass tessera extremely valuable.



The great advantage of mosaic is that it can be installed outside, since sun or rain cannot affect the colors. In fact, we can still admire mosaics that are more than a thousand years old.



In the past few years great architects and famous artists have taken interest in and have drawn closer to this millenary expression of art, proposing mural decoration to embellish and enhance religious buildings.

The Demetz Art Studio started to experiment and then produce mosaics already a few decades ago. If you provide us with images or drawings, we can elaborate them into magnificent artistic mosaics for outdoor or indoor use.



Here are some masters at work on the Great Catch Mosaic; these masters keep the refined art of Venetian mosaic alive. They follow a millenary tradition acquired through centuries of experience and are still using the classic technique of the glass tessera made with the most brilliant enamels or with 24 karat gold.

The result are sometimes spectacular as in this masterpiece called ìThe Great Catchî commissionedby the Judson Studio.

Maintenance: For indoor mosaics, simply dust with an air-brush. Do not use soft cloths on the mosaic or lint will remain on the tessera. For outdoor mosaics, use a sponge with water and a very mild soap. Do not use chemicals.