I thought now would be a good time to share some pictures I took of pots in Italy. In particular I took a lot at the Museo Montelupo. There was an amazing selection of traditional majolica pots on display. I have to admit that I went into the museum with a slight sense of dread, a definite prejudice against majolica pottery. I thought it was all terribly gaudy and not my taste at all. Shiny bright white backgrounds with over-bearing decoration.
What I found was that some of the pots were very gaudy, but many were not. Many were actually very charming, striking me as similar to early slipware pottery in England: the copper green colour on some of them in particular. You can see that they were thrown quickly in a lot of cases and were by no means a polished product. I love the muddier examples, the ones where the background majolica glaze is thin and you can see that lovely terraforte clay through it. As many of them are quite old you see the wear and tear on them as they have been used as functional items. Especially the jugs, I love some of the jugs. The shape of the spout really appeals to me, as does the full belly... not so sure about the fluted bases on some of them though.
Many of them are quite amusing too: caricatures of people and animals. It was a touch tricky to photograph them due to the shiny-ness of the cases so you will have to excuse the glare on some of them. They are in no particular order.
|I tried to emulate this snail on a pot myself.|
|I love the energy of this plate, the lines have so much energy and the soft copper green. Mmm, i could eat off that.|
|This one too.|
|Jiggled bowls... SLIPWARE!|
|This one is much more modern; the white really gleams. This is what you see in most shops around Tuscany (especially in Montelupo).|
Not all of the pots at the museum were traditional however. The sculpture below is in the contemporary part of the museum and represents the throw-away Indian chai cups. It was done by Terry Davies who I got the chance to meet. He is a lovely chap and an excellent potter who achieves very interesting textures effects on his pots. Terry was born in England and trained as a production potter but now lives and works in Italy. Here's a link to his website: http://terrydavies.it/home/
The works name is: "ceramica d'uso abuso e riuso" which roughly translates to used, abused and re-cycled ceramics.