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Deruta ceramics - A view of the city

Deruta ceramics are a milestone in the history of Italian pottery and probably the most popular among traditional Italian ceramics.

They gained worldwide fame during the Renaissance thanks to their creative and qualitative excellence. Noblemen and rich merchants were crazy about Deruta pottery, taking pride in collecting it just like art Museums have been doing in the following centuries. The city’s economy is still very much based on pottery making. Great artist and craftsmen have their workshops in Deruta and offer a wide range of traditional and modern ceramics. 
We have selected Deruta ceramics based on three criteria: superior quality, function and our feeling. We want to delight our Customers, provide them with a large choice of the finest ceramics Deruta has to offer and inspire pride of ownership.

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Know more about Deruta

Italian pottery - Deruta, Italian city of ancient ceramic traditionsSituated in the Umbria region, on a hill overlooking the Tevere river valley, Deruta was probably built upon Roman foundations. It’s name signifies reminds of the “ruin” of this strategic site caused by the Gothic War in the 6th century.

 

The excellent quality of the local clay encouraged the production of Deruta pottery since the early Middle Age, but it reached its artistic climax in the 15th and the early 16th century. The experience of long lasting peace corresponded with the highest splendor in Deruta majolica production and with its commercial expansion. Favorable geographical and political conditions concentrated in Deruta a wide variety of technical and artistic experiences which combined into masterpieces of unique creativity  and quality.

 

Deruta ceramics - Piatto da pompa - c.1490-1525 - © Trustees of the British Museum

Worth mentioning are the figurative decorations on Deruta ceramics, the usage of new colors (blue, yellow and orange), and the lusterware, rich in golden, iridescent effects thanks to special glazes and a third firing. In the same period the shapes also evolved, losing their functional qualities to become purely ornamental. Ceramics and painting were considered equivalent in term of artistic and decorative standing and “piatti da pompa” (celebration plates), “coppe amatorie” (love standing bowls) and apothecary jars were common gifts at noble wedding and political meetings and their collection was a very sought for symbols of richness and power.
At the time fifty-two kilns were working inside the town walls and Deruta potters had set up their own corporation and wrote their own statute in order to protect their products.

 

Italian handmade pottery - Regional Museum of Ceramics - Deruta © William P. Thayer 2000, con permesso

Deruta ceramics enjoyed 300 years of undisputed fame, always offering original contributions to the evolution of artistic tastes.
At the beginning of the XXth century a huge work of research and training has encouraged the revival of the Deruta pottery artistic tradition. Since then a lot of artists have found the right conditions to express their creativity.

 

Nowadays Deruta is a charming little town, rich in ancient churches and buildings. It owns an Internationally renowned Museum of Ceramics, the ideal place to learn the evolution of Deruta ceramics shapes, patterns and techniques.

The production of pottery is still the main economic activity, with more than 200 laboratories and factories producing Deruta dinnerware and decorative pottery in a large variety of traditional designs - such as Raffaellesco, Ricco Deruta, Arabesco , Geometrics - and more modern patterns.