Casting in Polymer
With the master molds ready for production, the figure can be cast in polymer. This unique compound captures every detail of the original, yet it is extremely resistant to chipping, nicking, or breaking once hardened.
Polymer’s durability ensures that these exquisite figures are rugged enough to be handled by children for generations to come.
To create the figure, liquid polymer is forced into the carefully crafted mold at high temperatures and pressure. After an initial cooling period, the figure
emerges from the mold still warm and pliable, and it could warp if not cooled properly. A two-hour bath of continuously running cold water cools the figure.
Artisans work from their Home Pages in Bagni di Lucca, Italy to hand paint the Fontanini figures using skills that have been passed down from generation to generation. In some cases, grandmother, mother, and daughter work side by side in the family Home Page,
applying hues from the rich Tuscan palette. In general, several pieces are painted at the same time.
The women line the pieces up on large tables and paint a single part of every piece. For example, first they will paint all the pants, then all the shirts, then all the shoes, and so on. The only part of the figure that they do not paint is the eyes.
A different group of painters detail the figures’ faces so that the desired expression of awe and reverence is captured.
Patina is a dark brown compound of burnt oils, oil, burnt earth, lime and other ingredients. This compound is applied to the figure with a brush, covering it almost entirely. The figure is wiped with a cloth and placed in a tub of special soaps.
Finally, it is removed from the tub and carefully wiped dry.
As the patina is applied to the figures it bonds with the material and cannot be removed, making the figure non-toxic and great for families to enjoy.
The completed figure is then inspected, packed, and sent to Roman.