Tuesday, June 28, 2011

More Montelupo and Ceramics

   Thanks to my visit to the Ceramics Fair over the weekend, I learned that historically, Montelupo ceramic craftsmen were the most technologically and stylistically advanced of their time.  They developed special techniques, such as creating bichrome patterns, using brown and green, starting in the latter part of the 13th century, remaining popular during the 14th century.  Thanks to Mediterranean trading, Montelupo artists were also exposed to the designs and colors of Islamic art, with its characteristic use of cobalt blue.  Today, the ceramics made in Montelupo, and still found in the local shops, continue to display the areas's vivid Mediterranean roots.  

      It is astounding to learn that Montelupo Fiorentino has been producing ceramics since the 1200s.  Raw materials were readily available locally, and thanks to the town's location on a tributary of the Arno, the Pesa River (pictured below), orders would be shipped to Florence and Pisa, subsequently arriving at major cities throughout Europe.  Montelupo is still important in the world of ceramics today.  More soon.

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