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Italian ceramics

Clara Garesio: Desired lands / Linee Contemporanee, Salerno, Italy

Clara Garesio at Linee Contemporanee, Salerno, Italy

Clara Garesio: Desired lands / Linee Contemporanee, Salerno, Italy
January 24 - February 15, 2014

"Giving a definition of the work by Clara Garesio is fortunately impossible, since it moves beyond stereotypes or fashions. Indulges in an impulse, driven by the need to communicate their feelings, here and now , it relies on the uncertainty of the fire, as in a trance track marks in a game of bold geometric shapes and colors of scanned drunkenness explosive , eagerly awaiting the result and awe , because – as the artist says - every piece is the battle between my mind and the material that I use , and sometimes losing is just as wonderful." And here are the vessels of the slender forms, architectures dream , the perforated tiles, plates, rounds, translucent balls, terracotta reliefs soaring, archetypal installations and tiles lit by red, blue, green and yellow in harmonious contrast where the size of plastic, combined with the dynamic coloring of enamel, resulting in the tale of cloistered life that you look at the world . The icon are eyes wide on eternity and the hands that reach out beyond time and space to touch the infinite. But the symbol, the recognizable signature of Garesio, is the mandala , the magic circle, the transience and rebirth , the destructive force that becomes a source of life." Erminia Pellecchia, 2013

Clara Garesio was born in Turin, Italy, in 1938. She started her artistic career in ceramics and decoration at the age of 10 at the famous Civica Scuola di Arte Ceramica in Turin, Italy. In 1955 she was admitted to the “Istituto Statale d’Arte per la Ceramica” in Faenza (Italy) where completed her studies in 1957. In 1956 she was awarded first prize in the “International ceramic competition of Faenza”, Faenza (Italy) and in 1957 she was appointed by the Faenza Institute of Ceramics to create the pottery collection commissioned by the Persian Court. In 1957 she started teaching ceramics at the l’Istituto Statale d’Arte di Isernia where she was Head of the Ceramics Department for eight years. In 1960 she won an award in the National Competition for Decoration of the Istituto Statale d’Arte di Castelli (Teramo, Italy) and In 1961 the Italian Ministry of Education appointed her as founding artist of the “Istituto Professionale di Stato per l’Industria e l’Artigianato della Porcellana Caselli” in Naples, where she taught Porcelain decoration and ornamental plastics for 10 years. Since 1981 she served as head of the ceramic department of public schools in Naples until retirement from teaching in 2000. Since 2001 she was appointed Professor Emeritus of the School of Fine Arts in Naples, Italy While Clara Garesio’s best known works are ceramic and porcelain, she has worked in a variety of materials and other media. In addition to commissions in ceramic and porcelain, she has worked in ceramic relief and tile murals, concrete, glass, fabricated metal and plastic sculptures and jewels, and design of colorful tapestries.

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  • Francesco Ardini

    Francesco Ardini Contemporary Ceramics - Italian ceramic artist featured on Ceramics Now Magazine

    Francesco Ardini's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View his works

    Francesco Ardini was born in Padua, Italy, and graduated in Landscape Architecture at the IUAV, Venice, in 2011. He discovered ceramics during the study years. Currently works in Padua and Nove.

    The vision of reality in Ardini’s studies relates to broken objects, uneven surfaces, the apparent dissolution, the linearity undermined by failure. All these lead to a naturalism where the works provide biological cycles in which the dissolution is always followed by a formal definition.

    Francesco Ardini understands the scientific course that begins with Einstein’s relativity, Max Planck’s quantum theory, going on with the Hubble’s discovery of galaxies, to land - in the second half of the twentieth century - within an epistemological revolution that places the possibility/probability above the necessity. Ardini accepts the idea that a large part of reality is not linear, but chaotic, and has a view of a universe development which will end in a cosmic catastrophe. These ideas place Ardini’s work in the sphere of conceptual art.

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  • Francesco Ardini: Porcelain Skin, 2012, Porcelain mixed with paper, Organic reagent, Plastic structure with tie rods, 1300°C


  • Francesco Ardini: Bacteria Proliferation, 2012, Ceramic, Different glazes, Maximum D25 cm. each


  • Francesco Ardini: Blue Proliferation, 2012, Ceramic, White and electric blue matt glaze 990°C, Vase H75 cm.


  • Francesco Ardini: Envelopes series, 2012, Stoneware, glazes (990°C), approx 44-55 cm. each


  • Francesco Ardini: Envelopes - Yellow (left), White (right), 2012, Stoneware (1100°C), White glaze (990°C), approx 44-55 cm.

  • Interview with Antonella Cimatti, Spotlight - October 2011

    Interview with Italian ceramic artist Antonella Cimatti - Spotlight - Recognized artist, October 2011

    → Subscribe to our monthly newsletter if you want to receive news and interviews with ceramic artists.
    → The full interview with Antonella Cimatti is featured in Ceramics Now Magazine - Issue One / Winter 2011-2012.

    Ceramics Now Magazine
    : You are a very consequent artist, having worked with ceramics all your career. Why did you embark on this journey?

    Antonella Cimatti: I was born in Faenza, I studied in Faenza at the “Ballardini” Art Institute and I have been teaching at this same school for over 30 years. It has just been so natural to work with this material in this city, because it’s so well known throughout the world for its ceramics.

    The techniques and subjects you are approaching are very different - paperclay, fibre optic installations and low temperature. Working with so many different materials may be difficult, how do you manage to combine them?

    Well, I come from Italy, a country where the artists feel the weight of our history and ceramic traditions, but where there are also many new influences from the world of design and fashion!

    In fact, in the last few years, in the design and fashion sectors there has been a notable trend regarding lightness and attention to detail, which is so incredibly in line with my way of being and working.

    I believe that the greatest undertaking of the artist is that of professional maintenance. As a matter of fact, along with spontaneous creativity, you indissolubly must add an elevated professional competence regarding technique; through reading and observation, the joy of experimentation, of combining, and of moving forward.

    Antonella Cimatti Contemporary Ceramics

    Trame di luce (Weft of Light), detail, 2008 - View Antonella Cimatti’s works
    Installation with translucent porcelain paperclay, fibre optics and handbuilt  flowers in glazed porcelain, temp. 1250°C.
    Exhibited at the 54th International Art Exhibition at the Venice Biennial, in the Italian Pavilion, for the Emilia Romagna Region. Photographed by Bernardo Ricci

    Your attention to detail makes your paperclay works unique and pure within their shadows. Tell us about the constructing process.

    I’ll tell you how you can, while having an idea in mind, transform and tame my technique. 
    My way of working is not traditional. My objective is to create a lightness in ceramics- not only regarding weight but also visually. I need to discover the right combination of materials in order to obtain the results you see.

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  • DisGRAZIE by Bertozzi & Casoni, FaMa Gallery, Verona

    DisGRAZIE exhibition by Bertozzi & Casoni, FaMa Gallery

    DisGRAZIE by Bertozzi & Casoni, FaMa Gallery, Verona
    1 October - 12 November 2011

    Opening: Friday 30 September, hours 18.00-21.00

    On 30th September 2011, from 6pm, FaMa Gallery in Verona holds the opening of the exhibition DisGRAZIE (DisGrace), an original exhibition project by Bertozzi & Casoni, who for the very first time will present a collection of new works investigating the relationship between art and nature and the expressive potential of matter in its multiple plastic and aesthetic meanings.
    Through an experimental and conceptual reading of ceramic, a practice which has marked the research of the artists since 1980, the exhibition has two main sections:
    The first consists of sods of earth containing different kinds of sedimentation, including waste and human and animal remains. These groups – where what we usually desire to remove has been buried -, are the humus prolifero from which sprout amazingly beautiful floral microcosms. The second section includes compressions of discarded waste recovered from the “rubbish dump” of the contemporary consumer society (tins, cans and scrap metal); from these heaps of waste emerge succulent plants, waterproof and robust enough to survive attack from the waste and to give it new vigour.

    For the DisGrazie project at the FaMa Gallery, Bertozzi & Casoni “forge” an evocative and surreal setting in order to reveal the contradictions and chaos of postmodern life, addressing the recurring theme of vanitas with a unique, exuberant exhibition. All with the help of ceramic, a material that is fragile yet everlasting, which the artists manipulate in hybrid and polymorphous expressive ways with the strong desire to promote osmosis between art and life and to immortalise the transience of existence.

    Notes on the artists:
    Bertozzi & Casoni is a general partnership founded in 1980 in Imola. For thirty years artists have devoted themselves exclusively to ceramic as a possibility for painted sculpture, but in the second half of the 1990s a more conceptual aspect emerged in their work which would stimulate, towards the year 2000, a great turning point: Bertozzi & Casoni abandon the use of majolica to favour the use of ceramic materials of industrial origin. In 2004 they are invited to exhibit at the Tate in Liverpool (A Secret History of Clay) and in 2005 at the XIV Quadriennale in Rome. In 2007 they exhibit at Cà Pesaro, International Gallery of Modern Art in Venice, in 2008 at the Sforza Castle in Milan, in 2009 at the Italian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, in 2010 at AVA All Visual Arts in London (Vanitas. The transience of Earthly Pleasures), at the Sperone Westwater Gallery in New York (Interval), at the Sperone Gallery in Sent and at the Arnaldo Pomodoro Foundation in Milan (Italian sculpture in the 21st century). In 2011 they exhibit at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Ajaccio (Réflection sur la mort) and are once again invited to the Italian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale.

    FaMa Gallery
    Corso Cavour 25/27, 37121 Verona
    Tel. +39 045 8030985
    Fax +39 045 8011410
    info@famagallery.com
    www.famagallery.com

  • Margrieta Jeltema

    Margrieta Jeltema's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works

    Read the interview with Margrieta Jeltema, Ceramic technique / Paperclay, May 2011

    “After many years spent in writing, painting and etching , using reams of paper, I ended up working with porcelain. Although I like making “normal” cups and plates, tiles with fishes, birds and fountains,  I like to experiment constantly and than, somehow,  I find myself using the material like paper or trying to make it look like paper; printed on, incised and folded.  
    I am fascinated by the fragility but also the strength of this ceramic material and, perhaps due to the history of my journey through the world of art, I love  to transfer the qualities of paper to this material to resemble paper, crumpled. covered with writing and folded,  exploiting its transparency, its different surface qualities,  its capacity to catch and preserve  colors on the inside as well as on the outside , underneath  and over its glossy, satin or mat skin.
    I stretch it, paint it, fold it, going to the limits of its strength, fragility and transparency. And it often leaves me in desperation because of its fragility.  It leaves me breathless with the feeling of happiness to see its fragile intensity.

    For years I worked as an artist in the BKR, the Dutch Government Work agreement for artists before going abroad with my husband and three boys. At the same time I studied biology and philosophy at the University of Wageningen in the Netherlands and followed etching courses in Amsterdam, bronze casting (lost wax) in Wageningen [with Ben Joosten] drawing from models at the Art Academy Minerva in Groningen.

    My work (ceramics, etchings, paintings, art books, photographs) is displayed in various public places in Netherland, Spain, Chile, Korea, Australia, Portugal and Italy.
    I published poetry, short stories and translations on the literary review “Hollands Maandblad“ Poetry was published by Cadans as ‘Carthago in het Middaglicht’.

    I currently live and work near Milan (Italy).” Margrieta Jeltema

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  • Antonella Cimatti

    Antonella Cimatti's profile on Ceramics Now Magazine - View her works

    “I believe that the greatest undertaking of the artist is that of professional maintenance. As a matter of fact, along with spontaneous creativity, you indissolubly must add an elevated professional competence regarding technique; through reading and observation, the joy of experimentation, of combining, and of moving forward.

    My design is born from a rereading of past artistic production through a filter of formal personal sensibility directed towards the making of a functional or sculptural object. The forms generated are aesthetically accurate and display a strong sense of the real feminine character, of grace, of elegance and of attention to detail.
    Thus, “Crespines”, objects originally of Faentinian tradition that were used in the grand European courts of the 16th and 17th centuries, have been remade in porcelain paper clay for a new collection which began in 2005.
    It was challenging and exciting to create forms derivative of the past, but reconsidered with completely new techniques and philosophies.

    These pieces have been formed using an incredibly thin decorative weft that ultimately creates their supporting structure: it’s an art of addition, not of subtraction, as was commonly done in the original renaissance crespines, where the perforations were created by piercing and cutting out shapes from the existing closed forms. The procedure anticipates the moulding with a freehand syringe on concave or convex refractory supports and requires a high temperature firing. Sometimes the forms are then mounted on hand-blown glass bases, which have been designed and commissioned in Tuscany. The round shape is prevalent in my work, which can often be found in Italian Renaissance architecture.

    They present themselves in this way, like ample goblets in ceramic filigree, a type of interwoven lace of overlapping spirals in precious porcelain “thread”, an effect absolutely unobtainable without the help of paperclay. Objects of light and vulnerability, which live in illumination and shadow, in tactility, in supreme whiteness and imperceptible vibrations.” Antonella Cimatti

    Antonella Cimatti  was born in Faenza in 1956. One of Carlo Zauli’s pupils at the Istituto d’Arte (State School of Ceramics) in Faenza, she went on to obtain a degree with distinction from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Fine Arts Academy) in Bologna. She has been teaching Design at the Istituto d’Arte (State School of Ceramics) in Faenza since 1979.

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  • Interview with Margrieta Jeltema - Ceramic Technique, May 2011

    Interview with Italian ceramic artist Margrieta Jeltema - Ceramic Technique, May 2011

    Subscribe to our monthly newsletter if you want to receive news and interviews with ceramic artists.

    Ceramics Now Magazine
    : What was the starting point in your investigation with paperclay?

    Margrieta Jeltema: Some years ago, when I had finished some jewelry pieces using porcelain together with paper, a  friend suggested to translate the paper part in porcelain as well. I tried and failed but my mistakes turned out rather nice in their own way. They encouraged me to explore this path…
    Now observing earlier pieces it seems the idea of folding was already there.

    I think any research in art is not just a technical one. Yes I wanted my porcelain to resemble paper but most of all I wanted it to have a life of its own.
    My porcelain objects have grown to be flowers, they are wishes or a song. They belong to a different world, follow different rules, not those accepted by the pragmatic world of utility, they truly belong to the “world of beauty and imagination*”.

    The technical skills with paper-thin ceramics have their origin in beliefs about the nature of art. Objects made by human beings belong to the realm of art when seen as aesthetically pleasing.
    Seeing something as a work of art or looking at it are not the same. Looking has a beginning and end. Seeing however is an achievement – it has no beginning, no stretch of time, it is the realization that we are confronted with something different. The work of art is not confined in a cave of individuality. It participates in an essential way in our everyday communication. From the act of seeing emerges our ability to understand a message.
    The beautiful object has an intention; the intention of sharing, of telling a story and exploring our world of imagination.

    Message, story, communication, these are the words which describe my previous occupation with writing, using paper, making books with etchings.
    I was held captured by these sheets of paper on which I could try to communicate with others.
    My Loveletters and my Ode to Monet go back to my obsession with paper carrying stories to those prepared to look, to understand and hopefully, to enjoy them.

    Folded loveletter - View her works

    Ceramics Now Magazine:  Do you find working with porcelain hard, especially if you try to make it look like paper?

    Margrieta Jeltema: Working with porcelain is really easy if you get a bit used to its terrible shrinking, its proneness to distortion, it’s tendency to collapse and its ability to ‘remember’!…
    But there are also many advantages over other clays. It is easy to join dried pieces together or repair a piece before baking, it is easy to glaze using a brush (saving on amounts of glaze) as most unevenness will disappear in the high temperatures and of course usually colors look nice and bright on the white body.
    What I find really difficult is the handling of the folded Loveletters when they are only bisque fired and still extremely fragile. Because I want to glaze them only on the backside I have to turn them someway. Eventually I solved this using a piece of light foam polystyrene with which I can turn the letter like a omelet on a lid (some cooking experience helps a lot in ceramics).

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