corkmodel

FINALLY AT HOME…

After its long journey across the ocean the Colosseum safely reached San Francisco. There in a famous private collection it is now the centerpiece of the exhibit surrounded by other models of the 19th century.

LET´S HIT THE DUSTY TRAIL…

Restoration work is done and the Colosseum was packed and left Dieter´s studio to cross the ocean and all the way through the States to San Francisco / California. A four month project that helps a ruin surviving the next 300 years…

THE FINAL TOUGH

Back from the Provence Dieter uses the natural pigments he got to set warm “late afternoon sunlight” on the surface of the Colosseum. This very important part of the work appeals to our emotions and is the final tough of every restoration…Colosseum

NATURAL COLOURS

To finish his work Dieter follows the footsteps of the old masters. They only used natural pigments to colour their objects. No chemical reaction destroys the surface of the cork and the smooth expression of the sculptures survive for centuries. To get the pigments Dieter visits one of his most favourite spots in the Provence – the small village Roussillon. Here he takes a bath in colours inspired by nature…

 

 

 

 

Roussiloncöllen 17.08.2015 012cöllen 17.08.2015 001cöllen 17.08.2015 013cöllen 17.08.2015 025

WEDDING DAY…

work on the Colosseum reaches a significant stage. The monument has to be “married” with its base. 150 points must be glued at the same time connected with 13 wooden dowels.

This demanding action can not be done by one alone. Dieter has support from his friends Stefan and Gerd. Together they achieve a perfect result. This effort has the purpose of creating an unbreakable connection that will last for the next 300 years…P1430982P1430984P1440013P1440031P1440040P1440047P1440069P1440093P1440160P1440179

SHADE ON THE AUDIENCE…

Now the upper section of the facade is nearly finished including the brackets which support the wooden poles for the shading construction. We don’t know much about that, because all that disappeared during the centuries. Watch here a video about an idea how the VELARIUM could have worked.

COLUMNS

After the capitals where dipped in different liquids, the elements are glued on the facade. Now the proportions are visible again as well as the order of the columns…

Ca 1 (2)Ca 1 (3)

CLAY AND STUFF…

After the drying process of the silicon Dieter prepares the “filling” according to an old recipe. The main ingredient is powdered clay but also other components are necessary to get the best result.

The most important is to get the bubbles out of the liquid. After the drying every single piece must be taken out of the mold carefully. In further steps they must be cleaned with a rotating brush and later coloured with natural pigments…

 

20180702_11012620180702_10445420180702_11274520180702_111704

CAROTTI TALES…

… by Prof. Dr. Valentin Kockel

Not much is known about the life of Luigi Carotti. Models from his workshop are documented for the period from 1830 to 1850. During this time, he worked out of premises in Via delle Vite, and – before or after this period – in Via del Boschetto, as we know from the English labels on his models. Both streets are situated near Piazza di Spagna, where foreign visitors tended to take their lodgings when in Rome.

So far we mainly know of models depicting the ruins of Rome, the usual highlights of every visit: the Arch of Constantine, Colosseum, Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, Temple of Castor and Pollux, Temple of Mars Ultor, Temple of Saturn and the Column of Phocas. Amongst these, the highly elaborate and therefore costly Colosseum stands out the most. Carotti was able to sell this model at least three times. Compared to the models of his predecessors, it represented the actual state of the monument, as it showed the restorations of 1807 und 1823. The choice of depicting the hardly spectacular late Antique Column of the Emperor Phocas on the Roman Forum was probably due to the interests of English travelers: the column was first excavated during the French occupation and a second time in 1817 by the Duchess of Devonshire. The overall increased interest in Greek Doric architecture that prevailed in the 19th century is attested to by models of the temples in Paestum and Sicily.

Initially, Carotti’s models were probably bought by private collectors, but later became part of the collections of learned societies (Edinburgh, St. Petersburg) or museums (Cambridge and Altenburg). The Lindenau-Museum in Altenburg (Thuringia) is the only institution to hold a larger number of models with eight specimen, amongst them a well-preserved Colosseum. Individual models have appeared on the art market, often heavily fragmented. One of these was the model of the Colosseum that is now held by the Piraneseum (San Francisco) and is being restored by Dieter Coellen.

Carotti’s work occurred at a time when interest in cork models was already on the decline. In Rome, he seems to have been the last of his profession whose oeuvre we can still follow at least fragmentarily. Compared to the works of Chichi and Lucangeli (Rome), Padiglione (Naples) or Georg May (Germany) his models appear somewhat dry. Apart from using massive cork as primary building material, Carotti utilized reddish, fired terracotta elements for ornamental details, such as friezes and capitals of the Corinthian order. Their colour has often faded away, but would originally have produced a strangely spotted effect.

 

CAPITALS

 

On the facade of the Colosseum we find Doric, Ionic and Corinthian columns. Carotti modeled them very accurately in this small scale. But most of them are lost ore crumbled to dust. To make the original beauty visible again, Dieter first produces silicon moulds of the best pieces….

After the drying process he will be able to pour the negative in further stepps…

LIFESTYLE

Imagine yourself – sitting there on a Sunday morning in company with some friends having this spectacular view of the Colosseum. Some birds are singing in the trees interrupted by the roaring noise of more than 50 000 people hypnotized by a bloody fight behind that beautiful facade…

ROMAN HISTORY

 

THE WALL

For many years Carottis Colosseum was destroyed and nothing more than a ruined ruin. Now for the first time the outer wall is rebuilt. There is still a lot of restoring work to do but we can already imagine the beauty of this monument. A beauty that is deceptive, because this wall hid one of the most bloodiest spots in the world…

 

 

 

THE OUTER WALL

Most of the pillars of the outer wall are lost, broken or not in an upright position. Each of them needs to be restored or rebuilt. A constructed “horizon” helps Dieter with the assembly…

05_20180613_113723

SPERONE DI PIO VII

Here we see the big “Sperone di Pio VII” constructed by Giovanni Stern in 1807 under Pope Pius in order to stabilize the outer wall. Built with bricks and temporary plastered it has always been criticized…

 

Jonson, Cura dei monumenti, Stockholm 1986

Researched by Prof. Dr. Valentin Kockel

JUST A SOUVENIR?…

MOVIE: CEVIN`S GRAND TOUR

In the 18th century even the Carotti´s Cork model of the Colosseum found its way across the Alps in order to teach people about unknown culture and architecture. To get to those unknown historical spots the first tourists spent years for treveling but when they came back home their intellectual status had grown up and this was the key into a new age..01_Screenshot_20180607-222457.

So lets “hit the dusty trail” together with Cevin McCloud on his  GRAND TOUR OF EUROPE. In this 3rd episode of his travel documentation he takes us to Rome where we also can watch Dieter at his open air studio – in the Forum…

03_Screenshot_20180607-222229

SANDS OF TIME

Luigi Carotti dusted the base of the Colosseum with cork powder. But during the years it disappeared and only a bit remained on the “twin model” at the Lindenau Museum.

Dieter does the same steps as Carotti but like in a “time machine” he erodes the surface to get a similar expression…

HOMMAGE À LUIGI CAROTTI

As we learn from Carottis other Colosseum model at the Lindenau-Museum the old master constructed its base from solid wood, which was the way to do at his time. The problem was that the wood “works” and damages the cork. Today we use plywood for a solid construction.

Dieter does so too but with respect to Luigi Carotti and his way to work he shows the same structure of the surface, even if this is not necessary…

 

 

COMPLETE THE OVAL

The next step is to complete one of the six oval construction walls of the Colosseum. This is a very difficult step of reconstruction work because the new part must be fitted exactly between the existing elements.

02_20180531_135134REALM OF HISTORY

STEAMING, HEATING, BENDING AND SQUEEZING…

One third of the inner facade is lost and must be reconstructed. For this purpose Dieter has to get the cork in oval shape. He does this in the same way like the old masters did…

CUTTING THROUGH

CUTTING THROUGH 18.05 (3)CUTTING THROUGH 18.05 (4)CUTTING THROUGH 18.05 (5)CUTTING THROUGH 18.05 (1)During the centuries the model was badly treated and broken parts where fitted incorrectly with the wrong glue. Dieter has to cut through the whole structure and work like a surgeon to stabilize the fragile cork and heal the wounded sections…

 

Restoring a ruined ruin…

for the second time Dieter Cöllen is going to restore the Colosseum – another cork model and masterpiece from Luigi Carotti (1842?). In 2017 Cöllen made his experiences with the one in the collection of the Lindenau-Museum in Altenburg/Germany.

This “twin” piece of a private owner is unfortunately in bad condition and it will take Cöllens entire knowledge and perfect cork material to bring it back to that ruin Carotti once created.

Starting with a solid base from plywood Cöllen reconstructs first the missing inner part of the arena.

Than the cork has to be “ruined” and colored with natural pigments even Carotti used at his time.

The last shots…

What else is more important than to finish a project with real emotional connection to the theme…

I did today and the model of the Wailing Wall is on its way to Berlin. Good luck…

 

Just the Coliseum…

Starting restauration work at the beautiful Lindenau-Museum today. The cork model was made 1845 by Luigi Carotti. Dieter Cöllen wants the audience to look over his sholder and answers questions about his work and the forgotten technique of „Phelloplastik“  Lindenau-Museum

Come over!

 

See man at work: Dieter Cöllen on tour…

Lindenau-Museum, Altenburg

Foto: Punctum, Bertram Kober

Cork artist Dieter Cöllen will move his studio to the Lindenau Museum, Altenburg, for a week to do restoration work on a cork model of the Coliseum (Luigi Carotti, around 1845). On October 20th, 2017 from 3 pm to 6 pm and October 22th from 10 am to 1 pm. Interested museum visitors have the chance to look over the artits shoulder and learn more about the forgotten art of „phelloplastic“ and the difficulties of cork restoration.

Lindenau-Museum

 

The Mughrabi Gate

The Mughrabi Gate is located on the north side of the Wailing Wall, directly over the Herodian-period gate known as Barclay´s Gate. Over the years the ground level outside Barclay´s Gate rose by many meters above its threshold and was finally walled up in the 10th century. Later in the 12th century a new gate called Bab al-Maghreb was installed at the level of the Temple Mount esplanade. The Gate is open until today and the only entrance to the Temple Mount for non-Muslims.

Here, Dieter Cöllen is going to create a miniature of the gate (scale 1:75) in order to integrate it later into the wall.

Dierter Cöllen, Korkmodell Klagemauer, Mughrabi Gate (3)

One year after it´s destruction. „Reconstruction“ of the Baal-temple in Palmyra finished…

After three months of intensive work, Dieter Cöllen has now completed the cork model of the Baal temple.

He is delighted by the extensive press response – Der Spiegel, NRT , Video – as well as by the positive appraisals of many archaeologists and contemporary witnesses. In his Blog he tried to report on the progress of the works in real time, and put them up for discussion. Even for the invisible details he kept to the archaeological stone plans, so that the model can be used for studying the structural design. However, Dieter also placed great value on colour reproduction, in order not to disregard emotional concerns.

Dieter convinced that the physical presence of this monument is crucial for understanding its history, as well as our own cultural roots.

The catalyst for Dieter´s efforts was his initially powerless rage over such senseless destruction, which he was soon able, however, to transform into creative energy. The model was therefore created entirely independently and without third-party, financial support.

After all that ‘constructive’ time, Dieter now has to give some serious thought to his livelihood again. He has two visions for this:

  1. „I also understand my work to be the result of my personal resistance, I can imagine creating editions that can be acquired by collectors with the same interests, so this way they can become a driving force and support for a shared idea.“

  2. „The continuing destruction of ancient monuments could demand a gallery of our cultural heritage that is lost or deserving of protection. Models of these objects could be placed in context with their past, as well as with current developments, and lead to improved understanding of history.“

„Of course I would be pleased to hear your ideas on this subject as well. My urge to continue is unbridled, but of course I dream of being able to work towards a greater goal…“01.08 (8).JPG

Dieter Cöllen 28.08.2016