Italian ceramics, or I should say 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 Customers, 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.
Aug. 29 – Sept. 12, 2010
Todi – Italy
This year the Art Festival in Todi features an additional event: a small but very qualitative ceramic exhibition organized by the Ab Ovo Art Gallery and titled “Zeus and Europa”.
Features artists: Antonella Cimatti, Wanda Fiscina, Victor Greenaway, Kati Junger, Rebecca Maeder, Rita Miranda, Luca Schiavon, Roland Summer, Ane-Katrine Von Bulow, Christina Wiese.
Leonardo Persico, owner of the Art Gallery, explains why he picked up this unusual name: “the idea was to be in line with the theme of Todi Art Festival, Cupid and Psyche. So I tried to dig into my school reminiscences and I came up with another myth, perfect for a ceramic exhibition, Zeus and Europa”.
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.
Sept. 4- 5, 2010
Faenza – Italy
Launched only two years ago, Argillà has already become the largest International pottery festival in Italy. In a few weekends almost 200 selected ceramicists from Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Nederland, Austria, Slovenia and Croatia and other European countries will display their works in the historical district in Faenza.
A great chance for anyone to discover the world of pottery and pottery makers, to learn more about ceramics or just to have fun.
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
Dec. 19, 2008 – Jan. 30, 2009
Baronissi – Italy
An extraordinary exhibition has just been opened at the FRAC Baronissi – Regional Fund of Contemporary Art – that will feature the works of a new generation of artists who’ve chosen clay to express their Art.
Born in the Seventies and the Eighties, they represent what’s new in the technical and visual language of Italian ceramics. A unique initiative, indeed, since it builds on the differing Italian traditions – Deruta, Savona, Padova, Vietri, Faenza, Lucca, Urbino and Salerno among the others – and techniques, which include a number of experiments with contemporary images and materials.
In his introduction to the event the director of the FRAC Baronissi says that the exhibition features a carefully selected sample of the languages and the practices used in modern Italian ceramic art. These languages preserve the lively cells of the valuable Italian heritage while participating in the contemporary art experiences and blending clay with other materials and creative processes. Italian pottery is therefore a language among other languages, all of them having in common imagination, creativity and a contemporary spirit.
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.
Oct. 25, 2008 – February 28, 2009
Gualdo Tadino, Italy
Alfredo Santarelli is one of the most important Italian Ceramic Artists of the 20th century. His talent in drawing and his mastery in the tin glazing technique (lusterware) won him a large number of golden medals in International and Italian ceramic exhibitions. His excellent portraits and classic subjects are prized collectors’ items but he also interpreted Islamic, Liberty and Art Deco designs and shapes with great originality.
The curators of the exhibition, Prof. Enzo Storelli and Prof. Mario Becchetti, have selected for this very special event the best works made by Santarelli, ranging from his “historical” pottery to the modern 20th century pieces.
Santarelli was very much intrigued by the Visual Arts of the Past. The pieces he owes his fame to were inspired by Egyptian, Etruscan, Classic, Gothic, Hispano-Moresque, Renaissance, Neoclassic and Pre-Raphaelite models. They stand out in the modern Ceramic Art for their remarkably elegant execution and creativity, their philological exactitude and the sumptuous iridescence of their ruby and golden lustre.
In the second half of the 20’s his art evolved in line with the contemporary trends. His Art Deco and Liberty pieces are a tribute to Santarelli’s talented versatility.
Deruta Mayor has recently launched a program to stop the spread of counterfeit ceramics, inexpensive industrial products mostly made in China or Eastern Europe and marked “Made in Deruta” or even “Handmade in Deruta”.
Let us take a step back for a moment and look at the bigger picture.
Deruta pottery is facing the worst economic downturn since the 19th century, due to a major slow down in orders from the US. Ceramics are Deruta key asset. Nowhere else in Italy there is such a concentration of pottery makers and so talented ones, too. A crisis in the pottery production cannot but involve the whole town.
June 21-29, 2008
Montelupo – Italy
Montelupo is a charming Medieval city built on a hill, a few miles east of Florence.
That was about it, until a team of archeologists discovered an old well full of kiln shards in 1973.
The unexpected discovery shed new light on the role of Montelupo in the history of Tuscan ceramics. It’s now a well-established fact that the town was one of the most important ceramic centers in Italy during the Renaissance and the production area of all the Florentine pottery.
The pride of such a splendid heritage revived the art of pottery making and had a positive impact on the local economic development.
Today Montelupo is a flourishing town, rich with historical buildings, talented potters and an awesome Museum of Ceramics.
To celebrate the glory of the past and today’s pottery art and craft an International Ceramic Festival is organized every year in the streets of the old historic district of Montelupo.
In a few weeks, from June 21st, performances, activities, art demos, exhibitions and young artists’ installations will definitely change the look of the town.