Diverse Maniere_Making of the objects_Part I

Diverse Maniere: Piranesi, Fantasy and Excess

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The making of the elements prepared for the exhibition Diverse Maniere: Piranesi, Fantasy and Excess

Objects: Isis Tripod, Candelabrum, Fireplace, Altar, Helix Tripod, Coffeepot, Antique Vase with three griffin heads, Chair
Photographs: Santa Maria del Priorato
Video: Virtual Carceri

Isis Tripod

This tripod is one of the objects being produced in 3D from Piranesi's designs.

A preview of the rotating 3D model corresponding to the tripod

Comparison of the 3D model and a first prototype

The 3D virtual version of one of Piranesi's etchings is shown here as a STL file (left) and produced by voxelstudios in Madrid, after which it has been prototyped by Materialise (right) based in Belgium . The process used to build this prototype from a STL file is called sterolithography, the tripod was divided into sections and then each part is built slice by slice from bottom to top, in a vessel of liquid polymer that hardens when struck by a laser beam. The prototype surface is then reworked by hand in order to add the more intricate details and after which a silicon mould is made from which the tripod shall be cast subsequently.



A wax positive of the foot of the Isis Tripod - part of the process of lost wax casting. The foundry work is being carried out at Fademesa, Madrid.

A wax positive of the leg of the Isis Tripod - part of the process of lost wax casting.

A wax positive of the 3 sphinxs from the Isis Tripod - part of the process of lost wax casting.

The prototype leg section of the Isis Tripod, cast in bronze in the Fademesa foundry in Madrid.

Selecting a ball of Alabaster from Antonio Soro's quarry in Fuentes del Ebro. This Alabaster will be used as the top part of the Piranesi Tripod.

Cutting the Alabaster

Section of Alabaster.

Sanding the alabaster top in a basin of water

Comparing the resin prototyped leg of the tripod to the newly cast bronze legs.

Welding the inner side of the legs together in the foundry, Fademesa.

Blow torching the bronze creates chemical reaction which adds a patina to the surface.

Adam Lowe experimenting with different chemicals to further develop the patina.


The tripod after it's patina has been adjusted.





Original Piranesi etching of the candelabrum

A close up of the central section of the candlabrum in plaster before the final carving of the details

Ángel Jorquera adding the details to the surface of the plaster cast from a clay model.

A plaster cast section of the candelabrum in the process of re-carving to add extra detail







Ángel assembling the mould for the Candelabrum

Assembling the parts of the full Candelabrum


This is a screen shot of the 3D fireplace being modeled at voxelstudios in a programme called Zbrush, here it is being compared to the original Piranesi etching.

3D scanning of sculpted clay which shall form the decorative freeze around the fireplace

Face models applied to relief details.



This screen shot of the fireplace was done by Materialise, Belgium, before being rapid prototyped. The cuts indicate where the fireplace was divided into sections to fit the prototype tank.

A short animation of the virtual modelling of the fireplace designed by Piranesi. The video is a result of voxelstudios organic modelling work

The resin prototype prepared by Materialise.



The resin prototype in front of the high quality print of the fireplace.

The resin prototype and print of the fireplace next to the print of Piranesi's Caffé Degli Inglesi

A mold of one of the faces on the fireplace made from the resin prototype.

Factum Arte's team working on the composite marble fireplace

Juan Carlos Arias applying the composite marble to the inside of the mould

The composite marble fireplace removed from the mould and being hand finished.


The hand finished fireplace and the composite marble's qualities in different lighting.



Original etching of Piranesi's altar

The basin part of the Piranesi altar, modelled in a programme called Zbrush at voxelstudios

The finished altar will be made out of a combination of bronze and marble

Different parts of the altar being assembled in prototype materials.

Detail of the winged lion head on the Altar.

One side of the altar during assembly and prior to moulding

Details of the base for the legs and the animal heads

The altar in bronze with a scagliola top

Sebastián Beyró and Silvia Rosende working on scagliola tests for the altar




The bronze altar after patination

The lion leg being remodelled

Continue to The Making of the objects _ Part II