FrontRunners: Playing with Fire
More than 50 years ago, the Lladró brothers of Spain—Juan, José, and Vicente—debuted an innovative process for finishing porcelain that required only a single layer of firing. The technique enabled them to create porcelain figurines with finer finishes and truer colors than those created using multiple-firing methods. The brothers have passed on, but the Lladró company continues to use their technique. To finish the Lladró Re-Decochess set (www.lladro.com), part of the company’s new spring collection, Lladró fires each black or white porcelain piece, then fastens it to a platinum base; the kings, queens, and rooks have platinum crowns. The set—which has Art Deco, Gothic, and medieval design elements—is priced at $2,400 and comes with an acrylic-and-glass board.