Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fabrica, Deruta

Inside the fabrica of Ubaldo Grazie.
This is the oldest pottery continously owned and operated by one family,
since the 1500's, 25 generations!
Above is Ricardo, one of the six workers that I have met over the last two days. He is a nice young man whose specialty seems to be painting Italian landscapes on plates and platters. I learned today that Ricardo studied with 'the' maestro of maioliche painting, who works in Deruta.

I'd done a lot of ceramics in my younger years, when my daughter was young. I worked in a shop pouring the molds and learning about the firing and the glazes, and the hand painting, so this was like coming home for me. Yet not quite.

Here's the process:
Clay from the 'quarry'

The old processes have been modernized when possible, but there are pieces that are still thrown on the wheel.

A machine to wedge and extrude the clay.


Rooms and rooms of fired bisqueware

Dip the fired ware into the glazeing vat

Ricardo not happy says, "old bisquit" in reference that this piece I picked has been on the shelf a long time and not taking the glaze as he would like it to.

Sanding the glaze off of the foot of the piece so it won't stick to the kiln.

The designs are still transfered to the ware by use of 'pounce bags',
bags of powdered graphite.

The stamped design.

 Now, it's ready to paint.
More tomorrow.

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