February 2017

There is a very good energy emanating from Factum Arte’s workshops as an anachronic approach to art continues to find its form. Fernando Sanchez Castillo's reworking of Rodin’s iconic sculpture The Thinker based on a 3D scan of a female model sits next to a reconstruction of the Borgherini chapel and alongside Davide Quayola’s sculptural works derived from scans of Laocoön. These projects reflect the extent to which artists and museums are incorporating new technologies and finding a new creative impetus through 3D scanning and digital modelling. 

As 3D printing technologies advance, artists are increasingly relying on hybrid processes mixing photography, photogrammetry, various types of 3D scanning and organic modelling. 3D models are reaching new levels of sophistication at Factum Arte and becoming tools for new explorations, as in the 2010 cast of Piranesi objects, which were modelled by hand in a virtual space.

At Factum Arte, we are designing new recording and printing systems to mediate, transform and materialise ideas and information in processes that uniquely blend digital and artisanal skills.  Experimental projects are in development with a wide range of artists from China, Saudi Arabia, India, Europe, America, Morocco, Ghana and Lebanon. 


Because of the proliferation of exciting work at Factum, we are now looking for a number of inspired and dedicated people to fill critical roles. If you are reading this message and feel this is for you, or you think it may fit someone you know, please contact Rosario for more information, and send her an email with a letter and a CV before the end of February. Rosario’s email is:

Immediate positions, all based in Factum's Madrid headquarters: 
Adam Lowe needs a personal assistant, Rafa Rachewsky needs a replacement in the digital printing workshop during his sabbatical, and we are looking for someone with practical knowledge and skills to lead the development of the 3D recording and output department. 


A new seven-part television series, Forever Lost,  is currently being developed with Peter Glidewell and Ballandi Arts, the same team that produced the 2014 documentary on Factum Arte´s recreation of the Caravaggio stolen from the Oratorio de San Lorenzo in Palermo. The series focuses on seven great paintings by Vermeer, Van Gogh, Lempicka, Sutherland, Marc, Klimt and Monet that were destroyed, stolen or lost during the 20th Century.

The programme will follow a team from Factum Arte as they scan, print, paint and work to understand and recreate each painting. Each hour-long episode narrates the story of an artist, their painting, and how it was lost. The emphasis of each episode is not the recreation itself but a highly detailed performance revealing the artist´s biography, the character of the original painting and the discussions that accompany the rematerialisation.

The series will be broadcasted internationally by Sky Arts, a pan-European Arts channel. 

Image: A working drawing in the recreation of Sutherland´s portrait of Churchill for a new series by Sky Arts

Rob and Nick Carter  - De Gheyn’s Heron

The heron modelled for Rob and Nick Carter after a drawing by Jacob de Gheyn III is both a virtuoso feat of digital organic computer modelling and a demonstration of precision casting. The centrifugal casting at Esfinge’s foundry in Madrid is capable of great results. The fine details that can be achieved with 3D printing can now be held in casting. The  cast surface is untouched on all critical details, resulting in a work of such precision it defies belief. The Heron will be on display at Ben Brown’s stand in TEFAF, Maastricht (stand 524, 10-19 March 2017) - It is hoped that the connoisseurs of fine historical objects will embrace this sculpture by Rob and Nick Carter that has transformed the intricacy of the drawing by de Gheyn into a dynamic form.

New Recording Systems

Recording cultural heritage requires new systems and technology for specific tasks. Developing recording technologies and intuitive software is at the heart of Factum Arte’s mission. While developing the Veronica scanner for recording head-sized objects, it became clear that a simple and effective system was necessary for small and complex objects like insects, flowers, netsuke and coins. Our star intern Andrew Henessy, who returned for a few weeks after helping with Veronica last summer, worked with the young team in photogrammetry department to create a new system in a few weeks. In trial it works perfectly! It now needs to be simplified and made more robust before it can be offered to museums and other collections working to make their objects available for detailed study in digital form.

The team at the engineering workshop also completed a manuscript scanner for Dagestan. They are also preparing the next phase of practical research into concrete printing, rewriting code for the Lucida, modifying the telescopic mast for use with photogrammetry and finishing the development of the ´fulgurite´printer that will be used on a major new project with Ahmed Mater. 

Factum Arte
Calle de Albarracín, 28, 28037 Madrid
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