From Clay to Kiln: A Journey through the World of Tuscan Ceramics

Channel your inner Della Robbia at Buongiorno Ceramica, a free, immersive two-day ceramic festival throughout Tuscany on May 19-20. Each year, this art craftsmanship fair rounds up some of the masters of terracotta, porcelain, and majolica and invites them to share the secrets of ancient Italian artistry through pottery workshops, detailed demonstrations, and keepsake-making activities.

A cursory glance at the colorful ceramics found in Florence’s San Lorenzo Market and in San Gimignano tourist shops belies a world filled with ateliers, laboratories, and museums which have been both quietly preserving and creating new traditions in artisanal ceramics. Visitors will be exposed to the passion, aesthetics, and evolution of a trade that has stimulated the economy of many Italian regions.

In Tuscany, Buongiorno Ceramica comprises the four towns: Borgo San Lorenzo, Montelupo Fiorentino, Impruneta, and Sesto Fiorentino.  Visitors are invited to an interactive weekend that weaves together arts and crafts, history, food, and music.

Borgo San Lorenzo

What makes the 2018 edition truly special is an intercultural collaboration with the Chini Museum in Borgo San Lorenzo: from May 19-20, 600 traditional Japanese tea ceremony bowls will be out for display against an oceanic backdrop projected on the gallery’s walls as part of the“Mediterranea” installation by Benedetta Manfriani. If after viewing the Japanese raku dishes attendees want to try their hands at molding clay, Villa Pecori Giraldi will host a pottery workshop on May 20.

Impruneta

Impruneta’s “Open Kilns” demonstrations features masters open the kilns that fire up the clay and later reveal the processing of terracotta, while local food specialties are served. The Fornace Agresti, a spacious 18th century complex built by the Agresti family, will also be opened for the “Note nel Cotto” concert by the “Giuseppe Verdi” Philharmonic Orchestra of Impruneta and the Mutual Relief Society.

Montelupo Fiorentino

Parents and budding young artists alike will appreciate the fun educational activities scheduled for young people in Montelupo Fiorentino. The program includes clay manipulation and artistic artifact workshops, museum quizzes, and cardboard suitcase construction activities on May 20. Minibuses from the Museum of Ceramics will shuttle guests around for a tour of the city’s ceramic district. At the MMAB Caffe, visitors will decorate a cup that will be put in a kiln and given to them. The cafe will also be serving up a nice apericena (happy hour) in the afternoon.

Sesto Fiorentino

The “Pinocchio, Ceramics, and Sesto” exhibition in Sesto Fiorentino will feature exhibits by local residents Roberto Ceccherini and Stefano Innocenti. Students of the Sesto Fiorentino Art School will be exhibiting their best pieces as well as providing viewers with an open workshop on ceramics and painting.  (sheean hanlan)

For the full schedule, visit buongiornoceramica.it.