24 June 2011 – A 2hr train trip through the hills of Romagna we headed to Faenza – a town associated with its long history of majolica production. We went to Cento anni del Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche and for a few hours immersed ourselves in the history of porcelain and concluded with the 57th Premio Faenza – the International Competition of Contemporary Ceramic Art.
We went into the town where laneways were dotted with ceramic tiled street names and the local bank displayed contemporary ceramic wares.
A local artist was kind enough to let me photograph her as she hand painted traditional designs. We agreed that next time we stay overnight as the museum was extensive and breaking up the visit would make the trip worthwhile.
I was fortunate to have a letter of introduction from USA Visiting Artist Professor Anna Calluori Holcombe, and as a student visit the Richard-Ginori factory/museum – a 1/2hr train ride from Florence to Sesto Fiorentino, Italy. My husband came along and luckily he did as he has the memory of an elephant and soaked up all the technical aspects of the factory while moi focused on the creative components.
Excerpt from email
Sent: Saturday, 25 June 2011 6:45 PM
Subject: re: last days in Firenze as we head to Roma tomorrow
” … In the last 24hrs I have managed to fatigue poor Adam with too much porcelain viewing. Yesterday we headed to Faenza, a 2hr train trip from Firenze to visit the International Ceramica Institute and Museum. The day before, we travelled by train to Siesta Fiorentina (11 mins out of Firenze) and headed to Richard Gionori Porcelain Factory and Museum. The Museum Curator Olivia greeted us and took us on a tour through the factory and museum. It was a very informative and insightful view into the world of ceramics produced in Italy by the founders back in 1753.
It would be too much to try and tell you all about it but basically we saw production work of machines and people producing 17,000 objects a day. From soup tureens to dinner plates to cups to sculpture work – there was something happening in every corner of this large factory. Probably the most fascinating area for me was the hand painting area and mould-making. I was brave enough to show the head designer my 2 latest pendants and he was fascinated with the raised surface and sheen. Adam was so good in trying to translate some technical details in addition to Olivia translating. It was a nice moment and clarified my love of studying and pursuing ceramics as a career …”
In my 2nd semester of studies, Patsy Payne, Head of the Printmedia and Drawing Workshop, ANU School of Art, encouraged me to draw and to use different sources – photographs, nature in real life, and my imagination. Thanks Patsy.
One of the sources – seeing the bowl in person at Richard-Ginori Museum …
Doccia, Museo Richard-Ginori della Manifattura di. Richard-Ginori 1737-1937 Ceramics from the Manifattura Di Docica Museum. Edited by Gangemi Editore. Florence: Gangemi Editore, 2007.