Francesca Niccacci has a special place in the history of Deruta pottery. While keeping the traditional portrait themes alive, she has contributed many new patterns and created bold combinations of styles and colors.
Francesca's brush breezes through the most challenging patterns and yet there is nothing casual about her art: all her works are carefully designed and made to perfection.
Francesca Niccacci is an internationally renowned artist and, before that, a charming lady. It’s wonderful to listen to her when she describes her work, her restless hands touching her pieces, as if anxious to recreate once more the physical bond that every ceramicist has with clay.
Talents, experience, knowledge, and enthusiasm are the main ingredients of Francesca’s works, which are featured in many Museums and Churches all around the world.
She mostly uses traditional techniques for her pieces: they are molded or wheel-thrown by hand, then Francesca’s tiny brushes do the magic.
She uses five glazes – only five! – to achieve the dozens of color shades she needs for her sumptuous subjects, according to recipes that date back to the Renaissance.
When she gets the inspiration for new subjects, she always goes through a long research and learning process, nurtured by books, exhibitions, visits to museums. She firmly believes that it’s impossible to create without prior knowledge. As her daughter Iva puts it Francesca paints with her head before touching her brushes!
Although most of her subjects are based on 15th to 17th-century paintings, Francesca Niccacci’s works are always vividly original and maintain a strong connection with the modern lifestyle.
Unlike many established artists in Deruta, Francesca does not come from a bloodline of ceramicists. She is convinced that her fresh start made her more independent when choosing her own artistic path. She graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia and immediately after she started teaching Arts. Soon she realized that what she really wanted in life was to make pottery. Fascinated by Italian Renaissance paintings and their influence on Deruta pottery she made an in-depth study on styles, subjects, and traditional techniques that were to deeply influence her works.
In 1975 she founded her own workshop, Vecchia Deruta, together with her husband Amilcare. Over the years, while Francesca was concentrated on her works, Amilcare has been representing and fostering her career, making her talents known worldwide.
A few years ago, after she graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Perugia, Iva, their daughter has joined in. A ceramic artist herself, she’s been encouraged by Francesca to choose her own path.
While working at her works, she manages her mother’s exhibitions and commissions and welcomes the many Customers who cross the Ocean to visit their workshop and possibly purchase one of the finest ceramics Italy has to offer.