Cantagalli, the Scottish dimension

by Sheila Forbes

On 31 August 1880 Margaret Tod and Ulisse Cantagalli were married in the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St. Mary’s, Edinburgh, with Ulisse’s brother Romeo, and Margaret’s brother Robert, as witnesses. His Grace, John Menzies Strain, Archbishop of St. Andrews and Edinburgh, officiated, thereby establishing a permanent bond between the two fine cities of Edinburgh and Florence (SCA).

The Tods of Edinburgh
Margaret’s father was Robert Tod, Mill owner, a partner in Alexander & Robert Tod Ltd., Leith Flour Mills (NAS D76/1056), and a Leith Harbour and Dock Commissioner (NAS SC70/4/298).

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The Sudden Joy of a Close Encounter with Vietri Pottery Art

A week ago. Amalfi at night. Rough weather. Yet, the place was crowded for a media award. In the attempt to escape the pressure of the onlookers we sneaked into a narrow side street.

In the middle of the path I noticed a shop sign:  La Caravella – Enoteca & Ceramiche.  I had decided to forget about finding some special pottery piece in the area. I’d had enough of souvenir shops or ultra expensive art galleries. However I was stirred by the combination of wine and pottery and decided to give it a try.

Italian Ceramics - La Caravella, Winery and Pottery Art Gallery - Photo credits: La CaravellaA few seconds and my heart leaped with joy. I was surrounded by art pottery pieces, whose style was entirely new to me. It was my first meeting with Vietri Art Ceramic.

After a long inspection at the content of the gallery – I did not pay too much attention to the wine, although I love it … – I engaged the shop assistant in a feverish talk about who the artists were and where they were from and whose idea it was to combine art & wine.

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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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