Ceramic classes and shop

Italy is rich in artisan ceramic products that illustrate a tradition of hand-working clay since ancient times.  And since you are in Tuscany, home of terracotta, why not take part in a ceramic class with a skilled craftsman who will explain step by step how to make a piece of pottery?

Gianfranco, who has been working on a potter’s wheel since 1953, is an artist with considerable experience and a reputation for excellence in shaping his clay with precise and coordinated hand movements while the wheel is turning.

Each creation is synonymous with passion, skill and imagination, so much so that, thanks to his perseverance, Gianfranco has been able to recreate the process of working the clay used by the ancient Etruscans to make their “buccheri”--those unmistakable vessels of glossy black that were found in Italy, particularly in the archaeological excavations of Chiusi, Volterra and Tarquinia.  In 1967, Gianfranco was recognized by internationally renowned Etruscologist, Professor Maetzke, for having rediscovered this ancient Etruscan technique, which had been forgotten for years.

For those of you passionate about this art, or who are looking to discover your skills by participating in a ceramics course, you’ll have an opportunity to work a block of clay on the wheel while learning the techniques of centering, opening, lifting, forming, and finishing.  Think of the satisfaction of creating an object in terracotta.  After giving it form, you’ll start the firing process and it will go into the oven at 1020 degrees for more than 10 hours.

Then, after learning to shape and give life to your creation, you’ll work with Gianfranco’s talented daughter who will show you how to decorate your object. A decorator for over 20 years, Roberta paints terracotta creations choosing typical elements of nature and of the Tuscan landscape, paying particular attention to the colors and tones that represent the Tuscan countryside.  Roberta will teach you a simple method to paint the object with the creativity and skill of a decorator with a passion for traditional Tuscan pottery.

The ceramics course will be a wonderful reminder of your trip to Tuscany and the piece you created will transport you back here whenever you look at it!

Gianfranco and Roberta are also available to organize classes for children so they can spend a fun time molding and playing with clay! 

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