Your Christmas Travel Guide to Italian Pottery Events: Ceramic Nativity Scenes in Grottaglie

Dec. 11, 2010 – Jan. 9, 2011
Otranto – Italy

Italian Pottery - Ceramic Nativity scene - Photo credits: www.puglialive.netGrottaglie has been a hot spot for pottery making in Italy since the Middle Ages thanks to its distinctive style and its varied shapes.

The production of Nativity scenes made of painted terracotta started in the 19th century. The figurines were very small: shepherds, angels, the three Kings, Mary, Joseph and Jesus being the key miniature characters of a tiny yet detailed landscape.

At the end of the 19th century the Nativity scenes made in Grottaglie were so popular that many pottery makers specialized in this peculiar art, making celebrated masterpieces. The most famous artists were Petraroli, Manigrasso, Micera, Esposito, Peluso.

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Ugo La Pietra Art Ceramics in Castellamonte

March 7 – 30, 2009
Castellamonte – Italy

Italian Ceramics - Interno and Esterno (Inside and Outside) by Ugo La Pietra - Photo credits: Arte.go

“Terre e Territori” (Clays and Territories) promises to be an extremely interesting and rich exhibition, gathering more than 200 ceramic works signed by a man (and an artist, a designer, an architect, a great teacher, a journalist, a film director …) who stands out for his contribution to Italian Modern Art.

Since the 60’s he has been exploring the relationship between human beings and their environment and how it affects the evolution of the objects they use, the habits they develop, their perceptions of the space surrounding them, their communication.

Fascinated by visual media, be it new technology or traditional handcraftsmanship, La Pietra has used many of them to carry on his researches on everyday objects, to him useful functional tools, but also symbols of a specific decorative culture.

Pottery making has been part of his artistic evolution since the 80’s, when he started to work on the idea of a positive interaction between industrial design and the rich imagery of Italian ceramic craftsmanship. With very interesting results, indeed.

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