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? ThatsArte.com 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.
ThatsArte.com: 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.