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giovedì, marzo 15, 2012

Ceramics in Appignano - Le Marche

The outside of the ‘Ceramiche Fratelli Testa’ pottery workshop in Appignano di Macerata is covered in a striking kaleidoscope of colourful tiles inviting you to enter. Inside, the doors, walls and ceiling are decorated with colourful pieces of pottery and hundreds of mosaics.

Ceramiche Fratelli Testa, Appignano di Macerata


Detail of exterior

When we visited we were able to watch the potters at work and to view the process from beginning to end was fascinating. We could see the vessels take shape and become beautiful works of art, smooth, glazed and painted. The creator of all this magic is Giuseppe Testa, the last of the Testa potter brothers (Fratelli Testa) in Appignano di Macerata.
In 1850 his grandfather (also named Giuseppe) set up the pottery workshop and since then the family of skilled craftsmen, his father Giacinto and his brother Francesco have all been potters.

Giuseppe started creating pottery when he was just eight years old. His work requires great skill but he does it with a passion. When he was working there he made all his customers feel at ease in his cozy studio and often in the evenings, the older Appignanesi used to meet here to chat.

Postcard of Borgo Santa Croce from 1860
(you can see the pottery lined up on the left)
He retired last year at the age of 73 but his beautiful pottery store has now been made into a museum. He still teaches in the school of ceramics passing on his skills to the next generation of potters and helping to preserve the history, culture and traditions of Appignano.

Although his son Mauro shares his love of ceramics he has chosen a different career, as an architect. It was Mauro who decorated the interior walls and ceiling of the ceramics shop. The pottery is mostly for everyday use, rustic earthenware dishes, terracotta crockery, bowls, vases, jugs and pitchers.The richness of this ancient craft continues to live on every day in the dazzling shop front and each piece of pottery retains a part of this wonderful tradition.


I treasure this pestle and mortar made by Giuseppe Testa

Thanks to our friend Stefano for much of this information about his dear friend Giuseppe Testa. You can visit the ceramics museum here:

Ceramiche Fratelli Testa
Borgo Santa Croce, 33
62010 Appignano di Macerata (MC)
Tel.: (+39) 073357484

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