Wall plates are back big time! A popular staple on the Italian dining and living room walls in the 50s and 60s, they disappeared for a few decades, only to return in curated compositions of deftly mixed colors and textures.
The first step is creating a collection of Italian wall plates for your display.
If you start from scratch, you should define a theme before you start searching. It can be a color scheme, a particular style or a period in time if you decide to go vintage.
Once the treasure hunt is finished – is it ever? – the fun of figuring out how and where to display your collection begins. You can really go wild!
Any room in the house will do, starting from the bathroom. A display of wall plates will add a charming, eclectic touch to the bathroom wall, where traditional artworks struggle to stand up to humidity or steam. Using creative combinations of colors and sizes, you will be able to add character and dimension to odd walls, too vertical, too narrow or just too dark for conventional art pieces.
No display rule should limit your creativity: you can place your wall plates in line, use decorative wrought iron supports, wooden racks, or just cluster them together in a fun hodgepodge.
Choosing a dinnerware set is no easy matter. Hundreds of different brands, designs, materials to choose from… and such a large amount of money involved in the purchase that a mistake would be much regretted.
Well, I cannot help you to make your choice. However, if you decide to stand out from the crowd and go for something really different and unique such as handmade Italian dinnerware, you’ll find some good pieces of information here.
What is Italian Dinnerware usually made of?
Italian dinnerware sets are usually made of ceramic, a word derived from the Greek word keramos, meaning “clay”. Commonly used, ceramic is a most general term, which can be applied both to porcelain and pottery. Continue reading →
What are the most popular Italian dinnerware patterns?
Ask the question to a hundred Italians and you’ll get a hundred different answers. We have so many regional designs, all deservedly popular thanks to their beauty and their century-old heritage.
However, I do wish to try and answer this question, without claiming that this is an exhaustive list of all the best Italian dinnerware patterns, of course. It’s just a brief guide to help you choose.
1 – Classic Italian dinnerware patterns
Three designs stand out here: Raffaellesco, Ricco Deruta and Arabesco.
They all originated in Deruta between the 15th and the 17th century. Their classic beauty makes them versatile dinnerware sets, whose exquisite elegance and subtle refinement are never commonplace. Here is a short description.
Learn how to tell if the Italian pottery you are considering purchasing is authentic.
Before you close the deal of your life and pay an incredibly low price for what looks like a stunning piece of Deruta pottery, you may want to take a few minutes and learn how to spot fake Italian ceramics.
Lots of nice looking ceramic pieces are machine stamped and sold as original handmade Italian ceramics. Possibly from reputable regions, like Deruta.
Spotting fake Italian ceramics is possible and quite easy. Follow these simple steps.
Sgraffito, in English “to scratch”, is a pottery decorating technique first used in Egypt and the Middle East in the 7th century to have pottery look like precious metals. Around the 10th century it crossed the Mediterranean, influencing Italian and Spanish potters.
A layer of colored liquid clay, called engobe, is applied on a leather hard pottery piece. When dry the potter decorates the piece, scratching the superficial layer to form a design and revealing the clay color underneath. At this point the piece can be kiln fired for the first time and, if necessary, colored glazes can be applied before a second firing.
In the picture we see Francesco Fasano at work in his studio. Thanks for the picture, Francesco.
Essential kitchen knives A set of quality kitchen knives is what you need for a good start in serious home cooking. Having made this fundamental point, the next question is: which knives should be included in the essential kitchen knives set?
1 – CHEF’S KNIFE A chef’s knife is a must-have in the kitchen: it cuts, minces, slices, dices, and chops. You’ll spend a great deal of time together, you and your chef’s knife, so take your time to select the chef’s knife that you feel is right for you and be prepared to drop a pretty penny on it. One thing you should not absolutely compromise on is the quality of the stainless steel: it must be premium quality, high carbon steel.
2 – PARING KNIFE A paring knife is good for precision jobs, like peeling, coring and larding. It’s the ideal partner of the chef’s knife and its opposite in many ways: a paring knife is small, light, with a thin blade that usually tapers to a point. You may even want to purchase two of them, one with a straight edge, and one with a serrated edge.
3 – BREAD KNIFE No other knife is able to slice perfectly through a freshly made croissant or a crunchy loaf of bread without smashing them into crumbles. It does an excellent job with ripe tomatoes and anything that has a hard shell with a soft inside. A good bread knife lasts a lifetime, as a serrated blade maintains a sharp edge for many years.