The masters of pottery

Solimene Art

Hands shaping clay, lathes shaping objects of pure clay. An artisan skill that relives in the words of Pierfrancesco Solimene, excellence of “Italia Bellissima”.

Our company is a family business; I belong to the fourth generation of a family of potters. Since childhood, I have been in contact with the clay, and I can claim to grew up in ‘bread and ceramic’! I still remember the sensations when, as a child, I enjoyed painting the tiles using bowls overflowing with color and the wonder that I felt in to view the result after the firing. The pottery business began with my great-grandfather and my grandfather Francesco, and then the firms have continued over the years with the widening of the family. Solimene Art was founded in 2003 with the desire to regain possession of the handmade processing: the artisan methods executed into the craftsman workshop.

Over the years, the ceramic art has had a development until obtaining a product industrialization in the 70s / 80s of the last century. However, thanks to the economic crisis in decades, we have sought to enhance the product not as a serial object, but as an artistic item with uniqueness and originality. In addition, the process has returned to archaic manual skill but using contemporary techniques and materials, for example using non-toxic and lead-free glazes, even usable for alimentary use.

We send our products worldwide and we have to respect strict regulations. On this subject, I noticed that, in foreign markets, the quality of the ceramic products is much lower than that produced in Italy. I have always been committed to experiment with new aesthetic solutions, both in the usage of the surface and in the evolution of the decor, going a bit like an alchemist. I always try to keep in mind that what I do have to encounter a daily confrontation into the homes and lives of the people.

We produce both tableware ceramics and tiles for floors and walls. We performed churches renovations, both the coverage of majolica domes and the reproductions of ‘700 floors : two of these are the church of Santa Teresa in Altamura, and the church bell tower of San Nicola in San Paolo di Civitate (Foggia, Apulia). For me, another significant project was the urban intervention of the majolica coating of the Villa Comunale Schwerte in Cava dei Tirreni (Salerno, Campania). In Italy and abroad we have taken care of the furnishing of public places, pizzerias and restaurants, creating decorations and ad hoc lines for the needs of customers.

This is a job that gives me satisfaction especially in the creative and in the final acts. In the first one, with the material to be processed, you can convey what you had imagined through the physicality of the body; in the second case, when you see your product that acquires the desired value placed in the final space. Besides these aspects, for me being an artisan, today, it means coping with many sacrifices, because I am interested in every aspect of my business and this pays attention and dedication.

I can say that in the figure of the artisan I see a ‘devotion’. We give life to an object and we take care of it during the whole production process, and then we leave it to someone else for the pleasure to enjoy it.

by Fabrizio Aimar