Italian Ceramics

by Lael Hazan on January 13, 2011

Italian ceramics are prized for their beauty and individuality.  Many people have heard of Deruta but there are so many other designs that are both historic and beautiful.  In our house we use a classic ceramic design from Faenza, a town in the region of Giuliano’s family in Emilia Romagnia. Our pattern, pictured above, is called garofano which means carnation in Italian.  Giuliano and I received a set as a wedding gift and when we were first married, we used them as our every day plates.  Giuliano said, “why should we serve company better than we serve ourselves?”  Of course that changed when we had small children.  Majolica, which is the name given in Italy to hand painted ceramics, is expensive to replace.  However, our plates are still brought out for almost every occasion that we decide is “special.”

In addition to historical plate designs, there are also many modern variations.  So, how do you know that what you are purchasing is Italian, and what does handmade really mean? is a site that is devoted to Italian ceramics and pottery and the place to go if you wish to learn more about the subject.  Have you ever seen an Italian artist hand painting a pottery piece? Oh, it’s amazing.
 I’ve personally visited a number of artists’ studios. In all of them I was struck with awe and wonder at their concentrated gestures. No matter how many times they’ve been painting the same design, their brushes always move upon the glaze with the same mixture of certainty and creative thrill.

Please

Comments on this entry are closed.

Kit February 9, 2011 at 9:59 am

I love Italian ceramics too. I have some Deruta plates which I hardly ever use because they are too good! And a lovely design from Montalcino that I use every day. I love your Faenza design – so lovely and cheerful!

Jamie January 17, 2011 at 4:36 am

We visited a fabulous family ceramic “company” and bought several gorgeous serving pieces that we treasure! The owner led us around the back of the shop (not really a shop, more a rustic showroom in the middle of the Tuscan countryside) where we could meet his two grown daughters and watch them hand paint the pieces. On another trip to Faenza we found a consortium of many local ceramic designers/makers and found a coffee set that reproduced a local traditional design that we had seen on pieces at the museum the day before and bought a set. Stunning! I would love to visit more studios in Italy! It really is an amazing tradition.

SMITH BITES January 13, 2011 at 1:17 pm

me again Lael, and you can delete this message but I wasn’t sure how else to get this to you and since you preview your comments, I thought this way would be ok. This interview is with one of The Professor’s colleagues who has been back and forth to the Marche region to teach at the University there several times. And what made me think of this post was what he says in Italian about never growing old at the table, which is what I wanted to leave in the first comment I left. Anyway, if you have the time, you might enjoy his story.

SMITH BITES January 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

Oh how I would love to have a house filled to the brim with artwork like this – it’s just exquisite Lael. And Giuliano has given us a wonderful reminder that we should not treat company any better than we treat ourselves! Happy Birthday by the way – may this be a year full of joy, happiness and lots of laughter!!

Rosa January 13, 2011 at 11:03 am

So pretty and refined! An art that should not get lost…



Sara January 13, 2011 at 10:13 am

I have a passion for Italian ceramics! the workmanship, hand painted treasures. My kitchen is filled with Deruta ceramics which I cherish everyday!

{ 1 trackback }

Previous post:

Next post: