Italian ceramics, or Italian pottery, have been in my life for quite a long time: I collect them, I read about them, I sell them.
In Italian, when I say ceramica, everybody understands what I mean. On the contrary, when I talk with one of my American friends, I’m always uncertain: should I say Italian pottery, Italian ceramics or Italian majolica?
In order to do away with any doubt, I did some research. I did learn quite a lot on the subject, and I would love to share my findings with you.
Let’s start with technicalities.
Here is a short review of the definition of the words Ceramics, Pottery and Majolica.
Once we know exactly what we are talking about, we will define what they really mean to people.
Starting Sept. 2, 2010 in Paris, then on tour around the world until 2014
This event is meant to be an earthquake for (Italian) art and artistic ceramics, a powerful and meaningful attempt to change the course of its currently uneventful history – we’re open for discussion on this statement. Send in your comments!
We received the press release of the exhibition a few weeks ago from Nicola Boccini, founder of the CLS (Free Experimental Ceramics Association) and the creator of this extraordinary event. We grasped that something important was going on and we refused to publish it as is, meaning without first hand info and more clues on what the revolution was.
Yesterday we had a long talk with Nicola Boccini. Now we are definitely ready to tell you all about Evolution art /r/evolution.
June 16, 2010 – January 30, 2011
Gubbio – Italy
The Pottery Route evokes the geographic and artistic connection among Deruta, Gubbio, Castel Durante (now Urbania), Urbino and Pesaro, which were important pottery making hubs during the Renaissance. And so most of them are now.
At the time the route was actually very busy. Artists and merchants traveled from one village to the other to trade their talent or their goods.
Gubbio enjoyed a strategic position on the trail because it belonged to the Duke of Urbino, who owned most of the Marche and was known to encourage and protect Arts, but it was located near Perugia and Deruta, which had their own peculiar artistic style
Until August 22, 2010
Faenza – Italy
Sept. 16 – Nov. 28
Rome – Italy
The exhibition celebrates “the whites”, a specific style of pottery that arose in Faenza in the 1540s.
Their innovative shapes, designs and glazes determined their immediate success; within a few years from their appearance on the market, they were already so popular that many potters started to make them, both in Italy and in other European countries.
Known as the “pottery from Faenza” or faentini, the whites became so famous that French people shortened their name to “faience”, that is now the French name for Majolica or Pottery.
June 26 – July 12, 2009
Sept 12 – 20, 2009
Deruta – Italy
The second edition of Deruta Ceramic Festival is about to start. The program is attractive, not only for Italian pottery lovers, but for anyone who enjoys live shows and art in general.
The events will take place on Fridays through Sundays. Here is a selection:
ONGOING EVENTS: every Friday, Saturday, Sunday
Anyone willing to create his own ceramic masterpiece can join Deruta potters at the Open Ceramic Lab. From wheel throwing to freehand painting, visitors will experience the making of pottery and bring home their own solid ceramic pieces. The Lab is downtown in Piazza dei Consoli and is open from 11 am to 8 pm
Stands displaying Deruta artists’ works will be open all day in the main street of the old district
Exhibition of the 36 Italian Ceramic Towns Association (AICC) at Grazia’s Old Factory
June 20-28, 2009
Montelupo – Italy
Hard to believe… the 2009 edition of the International Ceramic Festival seems even more interesting than the 2008 one, when the Regional Museum of Ceramics had just been re-opened and the city blew the candles on the 25th birthday of its School of Ceramics.
This year the focus will be on modern ceramic art with the grand opening of the first department of the Museum of Contemporary Ceramic Art and Nanni Valentini’s retrospective exhibition – separate articles will soon be published on these key events.
Together with Nanni Valentini, other established artists will be honored with solo or collective exhibitions. As an encouragement to the younger generations and their experimental vision of ceramic art, the municipality has sponsored the production of many installations made by young artists and placed all over the town.
In 1471 Luca della Robbia bequeathed his successful factory to his nephew Simone. He didn’t trust Andrea (1435-1525), whom he believed too concentrated on getting the highest revenue from the family business.
Actually, he was more or less right, if we consider that after his death Andrea massively increased the production of glazed terracotta. However the quality of the pieces did not suffer
much from it. At least in the beginning.
Andrea was a very good artist with a businessman approach to what he considered the family “company”: he increased the number of subjects so as to please both Catholic institutions and laical Customers who favored his glazed terra-cotta, that – if not cheaper than marble – was by far easier to ship and install.
Palazzo Ducale, Urbania
“Traditions and contaminations” is a multi sensory event that will combine the Art of Pottery Making, Food and Music in Urbania.
Better known among Italian pottery lovers as Casteldurante, the town was one of the most important production areas of the “istoriato” ceramics during the Renaissance, together with Gubbio, Pesaro and Urbino. The majolicas made in Casteldurante in the 16th century still are among the most treasured preys to pottery collectors’ and museums’.
The event challenges the technical and aesthetic tradition of the local potters and mix and matches it with creative stimuli originating from Japanese pottery techniques, food tasting and good music.
Sept 5th – 21st, 2008
Palazzo Venezia, Rome
Palazzo Venezia in Rome is about to open its doors to a usual and exciting event: an exhibition of experimental ceramic art and a ceramic workshop open to pottery lovers experienced potters and absolute beginners.
The event will complement the Agostino Tassi exhibition, currently on in the same building.
Tassi (1578 1644) was a very talented Italian painter, whose reputation was equally influenced by the beauty of his landscapes and seascapes and the rape of Artemisia Gentileschi.
Close-ups of Tassi’s works will be the subject of the workshop on majolica painting held by the School of Ceramic Art Romano Ranieri from Deruta. The participants will discover the secrets that make Italian ceramics famous worldwide. For the workshop details, please read below.
The exhibition of experimental ceramic art will feature the works of David Roberts, Nino Caruso, Nicola Boccini, Marino Ficola, Malgosia Turlo, Giuseppe Agamennone and Pierluigi Pompei, a group of artists belonging to the CLS – Ceramica Libera Sperimentale (Free Experimental Ceramics). Continue reading