Give Mimosa on Women’s Day

As a business that was founded by two women and is managed by women, thatsArte looks forward to celebrating International Women’s Day, a day to honor, support, and celebrate women the world over.  

Blue Sicilian Moorish head with a crown featuring a female character. The vessel contains a bunch of yellow mimosas.

We enjoy taking a moment to reflect and share stories with you about different aspects of this holiday, especially those pertaining to us and our corner of the world at thatsArte. This includes the talented female ceramic artists we feature, the world of Italian ceramics and sometimes even special traditions that are a part of Italian life.

The main symbol of Women’s Day in Italy

In Italy, la Festa della Donna is best symbolized by yellow mimosa (aka acacia). The mimosa flower is like a burst of sunshine in the midst of winter, with bright, cheery yellow buds. And on March 8 in particular, yellow bouquets appear everywhere throughout Italy.

Sicilian Moorish head with lemons. It features a female character decorated in rich shades of green and orange. It is handcrafted in Caltagirone, Italy. Large

Bunches of mimosa flowers are gifted to women of all ages from all walks of life.
This tradition dates back to 1946, when political activist Teresa Mattei and women’s rights campaigner Rita Montagnana started giving out mimosa as an act of solidarity to celebrate IWD. They chose the mimosa as opposed to other flowers because it is humble and inexpensive, common throughout the Italian countryside, and consistently blooms in late February-early March (just in time for IWD). In the post-war country, it was therefore a practical choice for women from all socio-economic backgrounds.

A resilient, multitasking flower, just like women

Symbolically, the mimosa is the perfect choice to represent women on this special day. It may look fragile, but the mimosa is actually very resilient and can survive in difficult conditions – just like women. The roots, bark, and flower have been proven to have numerous pharmacological benefits for everything from treating snake bites to depression. What’s more, the wood makes into gorgeous furniture and the sap can be used for glue. All in all, the mimosa can certainly be called the ultimate multi-tasker!

Sicilian Moorish head with a crown featuring a female character decorated in shades of antique ivory. It is handcrafted in Caltagirone, Italy.

Sicilian lady head vases & mimosa: a perfect match

So this IWD, as we gift a bouquet of mimosa to the women in our lives, we praise their special qualities: delicate yet tenacious, versatile and well-rounded, just like the Sicilian woman immortalized in our stunning handmade head planters. Each is as unique as the women they honor – be it traditional or modern, courageous or shy, bold or refined. We are all united in the beauty and joy of being…women.

Handcrafted Sicilian Moorish heads by Ceramiche Sofia with female subjects.

Buongiorno Ceramica!

The organizers of Buongiorno Ceramica have taken the festival of traditional Italian pottery online.

The festival will be free and broadcast on the Association’s Youtube channel from 16 to 17 May due to lockdown restrictions.

The AiCC, Italian Ceramic Cities Association, includes 46 cities with a “tradition in artistic pottery making”. The artisans of each city will contribute videos and pictures showing us the secret life of Italian craftsmanship. The material will form an ideal tour of our centers of excellence.

The workshops have just reopened after two months of lockdown. It is the best time ever to celebrate the creativity, talents, and inspiration of our craftsmen and artists!

Re-opening the workshops of Italian potters

Celebrating the 10th anniversary of

A story of friendship, pottery, and good food
It all began on a perfect Summer day in the Umbrian countryside, with us, Manuela and Tiziana,  having a cup of coffee under a shady patio and chatting away about our latest discoveries in pottery.
Manuela’s husband was drowsing nearby, half-listening to our blah-blah. When we started complaining about missing our jobs and the kids getting older he said: “Why don’t you gals turn your passion for pottery into a business, showcasing the work of the artisans you love and reaching out to people who care about the value of Italian craftsmanship?” Yes, indeed. Why not?

Going to the heart and soul of Italian pottery
The best part? Travelling to meet the artisans, learn about their techniques, the local traditions and get to appreciate more and more the distinctive beauty of regional pottery: Caltagirone, Deruta, Mantova, Grottaglie…  Local delicacies were definitely part of the experience, together with lots of fun.


Wait! Aren’t we are missing a big chunk of Italian heritage crafts?
The more we traveled across the country, the more we felt that other Italian traditionally handmade products deserved to be brought to the attention of the world.
One day, driving through the Tuscan Appennini, we decided to stop for lunch in Scarperia, a stunning Medieval village, tiny and beautifully preserved, known for its traditional art of knife making. The place called for much more than a good “bistecca alla fiorentina”! We waited for the craftsmen to re-open their studios after the lunch break and experienced the transformation of steel and horn into beautiful kitchen knives. We decided on the spot to open our website to new crafts. After the knives of Scarperia, we picked the table linens of Pardi and, more recently, the pewter from Brescia.
Proud of a very special relationship …
The single thing we are most proud of, ten years down the line, is the special relationship we have established with the artisans and each of our Customers. We manage every project, order or inquiry personally, providing detailed information on our products, advice on bespoke projects, plans, sketches and what not…  We know this is the special bit about, our Customers love it and we love it too, because it is exactly what we were hoping to achieve, ten years ago, when it all began…
Our plans for the future: more of the same and better
We’ll keep on designing wow backsplashes, answering your emails, talking our families into joining our scouting trips with the promise of great food and wine. There are so many amazing products out there, waiting for us to discover and bring them to your attention.  Bear with us, then!
Manuela and Tiziana


Art Deco Pottery, the Taste of an Epoch

Feb. 18th – Oct 1st 2017

The Art Deco style developed internationally between the 1920s and 1930s, dominating the architecture and the decorative arts.
It was an eclectic, rich and opulent style, glamorous but at the same time elegant and above all ‘modern’. No wonder then that Art Deco was particularly favored by the modern middle class and lent its esthetical features to new theatres, ocean liners, railway stations, cinema interiors and private houses.

Just like Art Nouveau and Futurism, Art Deco influenced Italian interior and industrial design, fashion design, the graphic arts and, last but not least, Italian pottery, impacting both shapes, materials and decoration. It placed the myth of the machine at its center, replacing symmetries with geometries, and finally making the way for the industrial production.

Francesco Nonni ceramic figurine - Italy

Continue reading

Fausto Melotti – Trappolando

Until Feb. 27th, 2017
Milano, Italy

Fausto Melotti (Rovereto 1901 – Milano 1986) is one of the most renowned Italian ceramic artists of the 20th century. The Montrasio Gallery in Milan celebrates his work with an exhibition, showcasing 30 sculptures, bas-reliefs and ceramic pieces, some unknown to the public.

The exhibition title “Trappolando”, refers to the artist’s half-serious relationship with the medium, for him a continuous challenge that he was always happy to accept.

Melotti’s work is magic and full of poetic resonances, vital, varied and colourful. He collaborated with the most relevant designers of his time, Richard Ginori and Giò Ponti, never ceasing to experiment and wonder.
By Tiziana Manzetti

Fausto Melotti - Vase Peacock 1960 - Credits Artnet Continue reading

Bertozzi & Casoni – Nothing is as it seems

The irreverent ceramic artists Bertozzi & Casoni, who are contributing to the success of contemporary Italian ceramic art around the world, will be showcasing their new work in Massa Carrara. The exhibition will be hosted in the Palazzo Ducale in Massa until November 6, 2016.

Nothing is as it seems is the common theme of their new ceramic sculptures: everyday discarded objects, such as laundry detergent boxes, mattresses, canisters are combined with elements from nature in a dark juxtaposition of opposites.

Arte: le ceramiche rifiuto di Bertozzi e Casoni a Massa

By Tiziana Manzetti

The Gran Tour of classical Italian pottery

This morning I was reading the news and a very familiar picture attracted my attention. It was a large ceramic centerpiece with scrolled handles, hand painted with a rich, Renaissance style design.
I know this work, it’s in our website. Why is it in the news???Centerpiece with scrolled handles "Julia Bella" by Alvaro Binaglia Centerpiece with scrolled handles "Julia Bella" by Alvaro Binaglia - detail

I read the article and I discovered that the picture of the centerpiece of our Deruta pottery artist, Alvaro Binaglia,  announced the grand opening of the exhibition “Grand Tour – An overview of classical Italian pottery” now on in Milan.

Grand Tour – An overview of classical Italian pottery

The exhibition is organized by the AiCC, Italian Ceramic Cities Association, that represents 34 cities with a “tradition in artistic pottery making”.

Just like Goethe, Stendhal and many other artists from the Northern regions of Europe undertook a traditional trip to Italy as part of their education, the curators of this exhibition guide the visitors in a most interesting tour of the many Italian regions that have contributed to the prolific history of Italian pottery.

From Sicily to Tuscany, from Piedmont to Umbria … each village contributes with its traditional pottery to the understanding of Italian culture: a puzzle of styles, glazes and designs that recalls the variety of our history, architecture and traditions.

Grand Tour – An overview of classical Italian pottery

Vietri pottery: a feast for the senses

May 17-June 28, 2015
Vietri – Italy

Clara Garesio is the past, present and future of Vietri pottery. The title of her new exhibition is meaningful: An Endless Spring. And, indeed, the joy of Southern colors, the pulse of the Amalfi Coast, the harmony of Italy inhabit her work.

The exhibition will open in a few days in the Museum of Ceramics in Villa Guariglia that hosts a breathtaking collection of Vietry pottery. A must see.

Clara Garesio - Demetra, 2015 Continue reading

Women artists and their work about women

Until March 24, 2013
Tuscania – Italy

Last Saturday I went to visit an interesting exhibition in Tuscania. It has been organized by one of my favorite ceramic artists – Mirna Manni – and it’s about WOMEN.

The exhibition features the work of nine artists who have shown thru their works who many different meanings and shades can be used to depict the female universe.

Every artist has contributed with her own expressive medium. Ceramic sculptures and installations, digital photography, mixed media, paintings …
Continue reading

First Biennial of Contemporary Ceramic Art

Until June 24, 2012
Frascati – Italy

The exhibition, the first of many to come I’m sure, is hosted in the former stables of Villa Aldobrandini in Frascati. Recently  transformed into a museum, the16th century building is just perfect to display contemporary ceramic art.

I visited it last Sunday and although my expectations were very high because I already knew the work of some of the artists, at least thru some pictures, I still was surprised to find how good, meaningful and diverse the exhibition is and how it succeeds in capturing the current trends of Italian ceramic art.

I was happy to meet Jasmine Pignatelli, whose giant sized seeds and roots – thriving elements of a vital and raped world – I had always admired but never quite understood from the cold screen of my computer.

The 13 artists who contributed to this wonderful initiative are Silvia Calcagno, Elettra Cipriani, Guido De Zan, Fabrizio Dusi, Marino Ficola, Antonio Grieco, Annalisa Guerri, Massimo Luccioli, Rita Miranda, Riccardo Monachesi, Simone Negri, Jasmine Pignatelli and Sprout.
Continue reading