8 October 2010

CONTEMPORARY ITALIAN MAIOLICA

Dolfi ceramics
We are going to Rome soon, after a successful Open Studio.  The last time I was there I bought a ceramic vase like this one, made in the Dolfi factory in Montelupo.  There was a big shop by the Piazza Sant'Andrea selling reproductions of Renaissance maiolica.  You see it all over Italy.  Market stalls in Florence overflow with it, much of it made nearby in the ancient pottery towns of Montelupo, Deruta, Gubbio and further north in Faenza.  Some of it is quite cheap, and most of it is no good.  It is well-made technically, but there is little innovation and the brush work is often weak.  Dolfi, which does some direct imitations of old maiolica, is a good exponent of this genre.


At the G. Ballardini State Institute of Art at Faenza, you can receive a training in the production and conservation of these ceramics.  Although some of the student work at the Ballardini is innovative, I have never seen it in the tourist centres.  Italy is a country of innovative modern design weighed down by its history.  Perhaps this time in Rome I'll look out for some new and  modern ceramics.

Student work from the Instituto Statale d'Arte G.Ballardini, Faenza