At the International School of Ceramic Art, you’ll find some people just learning to shape clay into all kinds of forms and others completing their art studies. There’s a couple who comes here to make things to decorate their own home with original works. There’s a group of retired women who chose to spend their free time doing something different than the usual sewing course. There is even someone who has gathered her friends around a turning wheel for a unique experience as her bachelorette party.
Art, in its every expression, survives the passage of time, and those who use it to convey ideas, feelings and states of mind become part of eternity. This is the sense I have when I wander around the first two rooms of the International School of Ceramic Art, where Fantoni’s works are shown.
Fantoni was born in 1915 and started working as a ceramic artist in an artisan workshop. He became a master ceramist and started a full-fledged company at the Scuderie di Villa Fabbricotti in Florence. He gained acclaim after World War II, winning important accolades won in Italy and abroad. He worked for churches, public and private buildings, schools, movie theaters and theaters. He created series of ceramic pieces and extraordinary one-of-a-kind pieces. His sculptures became part of prestigious private collections and top museums around the world, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Museum of Modern Art in Tokyo and Kyoto. Marcello Fantoni passed away in 2011 at the age of 96.
We went from the exhibition to the workshop, where each student has his or her place and everything they need: loops, ribs, spatulas, tongs, modeling tools, gauges, molds and cut out tools. Creativity and imagination do the rest!
Pieces are drying on the shelves, some waiting to be fired and others already ready for decorations. As Ginevra points out, the result is always a surprise because we can’t predict how the color will react to firing in its intensity and nuances. This is why if you want to make two pots exactly the same, they may have the same shape, but they will never be totally identical in their color.
If Ginevra’s plans go forward, the centenary of Marcello Fantoni’s birth, in 2015, will be celebrated with a show dedicated to him in Palazzo Medici Riccardi.
Fantoni International School of Ceramic Art
Via di Monterinaldi, 45 (Via Bolognese Nuova), 50139 Firenze
Public transport to get there: Bus No. 25 from Piazza San Marco, “Bolognese Nuova 03” stop
Tel / Fax: 055-400.233
English translation by Miriam Hurley