The Trinacria, also known as Triskelion, is the familiar three-legged symbol of Sicily, Italy’s unique little nugget.
If you visit the island you will be sure to see a Trinacris, symbol of Sicily, everywhere and if you wish to take one of them home you’ll have a large choice, from sophisticated ceramic Trinacria plaques to inexpensive fridge magnets. Of course, we do hope that you’ll go for one of the stunning Sicilian pottery pieces that are handmade for you by local artisans.
Anyway, regardless of your choice, you may want to impress your travel companions and learn something about the origins of the Trinacria or Triskelion and some fascinating stories surrounding the birth of Sicily and its three-legged symbol.
Allow me the pleasure to start from what I like best: the stories.
Back to the Middle Ages, animal designs were very popular on Italian pottery. This tile, part of a large collection of Medieval tiles, is hand painted in Sicily by Giacomo Alessi.
The copper oxide is the predominant glaze here as it was at the end of the first millennium.
Each time we see something new made by Ghenos we are stunned by its harmony and character. They do have a special gift: their pottery is unmistakably Sicilian, yet it’s never ordinary.
We have chosen for our website a collection of ceramic horses. They are simply adorable!
In this video, Enzo Scardino from Ghenos, paints a lovely Madonna with child. You can see the various steps that lead to an authentic masterpiece! Enjoy the performance.
Sept. 28 – Oct. 11, 2001
Giacomo Alessi’s work celebrates the glorious past of Sicilian ceramics while going for its renewal.
A deep understanding of Caltagirone’s millennial tradition of pottery making combined with a profound love for the complex and fascinating art of creating a meaningful something out of wet clay is the secret of Alessi’s sculptures.
Along with his handcrafted production – famous throughout the world – Giacomo Alessi has also been making his own “private” works. He takes pride, rightful pride, in showing his collection to a few privileged friends. But art cannot be concealed or silenced… his visitors spread the news and Giacomo has rapidly won international recognition.
Manuela and I met Giacomo Alessi in Caltagirone in 2007. We were starting our fine Italian ceramics web store and Giacomo was probably the very first artist we invited to join our project. A hesitant “let’s try…” was enough for us to fly to Sicily and visit him in his workshop. Continue reading
A hot morning in Sicily. The road ran along one of the most fascinating beaches of the island, Baia Santa Margherita. A colorful signpost convinced me to turn into a narrow dirt road that seemed to point straight to a steep red mountain facing the Mediterranean Sea. After a while I saw on my right a brick hut with a shadowy porch: Toti Taormina’s studio lost in the middle of the fragrance and the colors of the Sicilian landscape.
There were people crowding the tiny wood-paneled “showroom”, where ceramics stood all over the place: on the floor, on the shelves, on coffee tables, hanging from the walls and the doors, inside and outside. In the middle of everything Toti himself, chatting with everybody at the same time. Continue reading