skilful hands of these young women are born tapestries, hats, bags, dresses, vases, furnishing accessories, … Of great interest, prints on Japanese paper from felt matrix by Cristiana Di Nardo, incorporating felt filaments to create extremely refined works where this humble material is ennobled to reach very high levels of expression. Each author that collaborates with Atelier, students that Matilde defines as “first-rate”, presents his/her works at events and small exhibition that are regularly held at the workshop. Worthy of mention, a young and highly talented youth, Daniele Broglia, who re-discovers and enhances the ancient “plumaria art”, a very old art widespread in southern and eastern Asia, across Indonesia and Oceania, to both the Americas, characterised by the use of birds’ plumes and feathers to decorate.
(page 44) Many Neapolitans, and not only, nostalgically remember the great exhibitions of artistic crèches and art ceramics of the Campania region held during the Christmas season, since the eighties, in the monumental complex of Santa Maria La Nova. During one of these exhibitions, in the section dedicated to crèches was displayed a large “Nativity Scene” made from terracotta, entirely revisited in terms of position of the characters, intriguing as well as spellbinding, and certainly “revolutionary” for a notoriously traditional public as is the Neapolitan one. It was in that circumstance that I made the acquaintance of Paola Capriotti and was struck by the professional background of my interlocutor, by her grit, as well as by the experienced awareness of operating as an entrepreneur in a field in which the leading positions are usually occupied by men. Since always, in the Campania region, in the places where ceramic is traditionally worked (Cerreto Sannita, Napoli San Lorenzello, Vietri sul Mare), the workshops and shops, both the family-run ones and the other more important ones, are managed by men, masters, the jealous guardians of their secrets, “domineering fathers”, at least until a short while ago, of an oligarchic system of company management. On the contrary, in the second half of the eighties, Paola Caprotti ventured upon this context in Naples and opened the “Terramia” workshop, where new approaches that weren’t the routine ones to produce ceramic were immediately sought, and new types of artefacts were launched on the market – not only locally. The items were personalised by colours and “debrì” never seen before and the market, probed through trade fairs in Florence, Milan and even abroad, immediately showed its appreciation. In the Terramia workshop, which currently
occupies many rooms where designing, forging, decoration, drying are carried out and exhibitions are held, is located in Via Pigna 76, Naples. Here, excellent artistic ceramics are also made. The terracotta production of the mythical Neapolitan coffee-pots is truly extraordinary; even large-sized ones are made, enlivened with many “pulcinellas” in various poses. Some of their lids are transformed into mini-crèches with Lilliputian shepherds of incredible make. Terramia also boasts a design and planning studio for home furnishings and for the garden; fringe activities include pottery, sculpture-decoration and painting courses. At any rate, it is an excellently equipped centre, one of the best of its kind in the Campania region, and boasts a showroom of its products at unbeatable prices located in Via S.Giovanni Maggiore Pignatelli, Naples, the heart of the historic centre, just a short distance away from the church of San Domenico Maggiore. The years that have gone by have been rich in satisfactions, but also terribly hard for this small woman made from steel called Paola Capriotti. The grit is that one of always. Paola does not easily give up. For her ceramic-making has been the choice of her life. She has transmitted the same grit to her son Luca, who has become the crucial mainstay of the workshop and her precious advisor.
Passi d’autore Graziano pompili
(page 48) Looking at the wall that hosts the fifty terracotta tiles called “Passi d’Autore”, one gets the impression of being enveloped in a large embrace filled with histories and emotions. Graziano Pompili, the sculptor born in Faenza who lives in Reggio Emilia who has created this extraordinary work, has aimed to narrate his artistic story and life through a series of images. To depict his memoirs Pompili uses images shaped in terracotta, and narrates a route that has already been done, perhaps already forgotten, which now reappears in all its value, skilfully redesigned and coloured by the emotions that time has kept suspended. The fifty tiles contain, like a biography, the traces of all the stylistic and thematic choices that have allowed the artist to achieve a highly sensitive and communicative language. It’s a passion for findings and archaeology, which soon resulted in the love for shapes of classic sculpture, reproposed in other tiles of “Passi d’autore”, according to the taste and style cultivated by Pompili throughout the eighties. Ancient amphorae, classically-shaped horses, wings belonging to Greek Nikes and above all, fragments laid side by side are depicted, as if they were objects resurfaced from a digging site. Other tiles, always linked to his passion for archaeo-
logical sites, are dedicated to the human figure and present bodies with parts missing or half-busts resting on columns reminiscent of the Etruscans, the Dalla Robbias and Piero della Fran-cesca. According to the Reggio Emilian sculptor, the element that best symbolises the roots of all men is the home, a subject present in as many as ten of the 50 terracotta tiles and the star of Pompili’s production as from the early nineties to the present day. Some of these homes are depicted on mountain tops poised in the air. In other two tiles the home is repeated identically in a series, enclosed in a sort of grid. However, following the inspiration of the soul, in his creations of the 2000 Pompili reproposes the home combined with the human figure, a sort of essential and uncharacterised self-portrait. Graziano Pompili has been able to express his communication potential to a maximum, offering not only the history and poetics of an entire artistic life. But the sculptor has created this work also for himself. Pompili has understood that the conquests of the past may become an important point of reference, a magically suspended place from which to draw, why not, new elements for the future.
Morelato Projects and Proposals
(page 52) The consolidated image of the Morelato production, renowned for revisiting styles of the past, is soon to be enriched with a new chapter dedicated to the year 2000. For the year 2003, at the Verona “Abitare il Tempo” was presented the new collection called “Classico 2000”. Morelato has explored and offered four centuries of history, but for the year 2000 the reference is not made up of “styles” taken from the history of the Applied Arts, but from a contemporary classicism all to be discovered. The new collection will present all the principles and values that have always characterised Morelato’s production in a contemporary key: eco-friendly features, objects dedicated to the emotional area of the socio-individual domestic space, objects that present an attentive and innovative research of materials, objects that are essential and reassuring. Add to these design and production plans the new and ambitious cultural initiative called the Applied Arts in Furniture Making Outlook, set up by the Morelato company in the Veneto region, with a special eye to furniture making. The first result of the Outlook’s activity was the presentation of two especially significant experiences at the September show held in Palazzo Taidelli: the work of master cabinet-maker Pierluigi Ghian-da and a preview of the Berdondini Col-lection inspired by models drawn by An-tonio Berdondini, a cabinet-maker who operated in Faenza in the 30s and 40s.
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