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Guidelines for the Kaki tree Project


2014, sept 9 th


After an intense  week of writing, scratching, etc. I ended up delivering the guidelines of the "Kaki tree Project ficullese".
The Kaki tree Project is an Art International project that has come to life from Tatsuo Miyajma about  twenty years ago, after his visit to Nagasaki ruins.

I hope it is possible to share in this Project, it is great,  and could be revitalizing for our village and for its clay that could get new life and vigor.
I am grateful to my dear friends, Arch.Cecilia Cecchini, and Sarah Thomas, Artist from NZ, who in these days have embraced this adventure with me, sharing their energy and love.
Here's what I handed over to the Ficulle City Council yo be delivered to the Kaki tree Office in Japan;


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Open Studio

My Studio has just been renovated, and  can  now host workshops. This spot is green and silent. ( pics on “casa, il posto, il fantarmadio”-gallery) La Badia di San Nicola al Monte Orvietano is very close:  it was an ancient Monastery, nowadays it is possible to visit the Church, which has just been restored after interesting archaeological diggings. Orvieto is at 30 minutes by car, like Città della Pieve and Chiusi. The River is 10 minutes walk away, and the closest village is 4 km away if you walk or 7 km by car. In summer it is possible to enjoy working in the studio or choose a tree, and work in the shade: there’s space for up to 6 people.  Age and experience aren’t important. You could stay in the house, there are 2 bedrooms, or in a self-contained room, good for 2 – 3 people ( bathroom, kitchen, wi-fi).

Facilities: Local clays and materials, tools, Kilns ( electric test kiln, gas kilns, downdraft wood kiln – max temperature 1280°C)

You can choose your working experience : – Local materials: collecting, preparing and mixing them. – Hand building (Coil and Slab techniques) – The wheel – The singing clay (from drums to whistles etc.) – Extruding (and building) – Slips – Glazes  – Wood firing –  Kiln building. I will give you my assistance,  you will choose and develop your project.

It is also possible to take great walks,  and learn about Italian cooking .  We do not have meat here at home, normally the meals are based on products from the veg-garden, oil from our Olive-grove, and local products.  The cost for 1 week ( including room, 1 meal, materials and firings) is  500 euro per person.  900 euro for 2 weeks. (300 euro/ week  if you want to use the studio facilities, including one meal,  while staying in other B&B or Holiday houses nearby)

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One of the most intriguing things, in my work, is the materials: looking for them , observing, collecting. Digging, through roots and tods’s dens, worms, rocks and fossils is something magic to me and i like this since i was a child.               I also love Iron-Junker. Wandering among compressed cubes of washing machines, cars, pots, road signs and misterious rusty stuffs  is another passion of mine. The pieces i pick up there  become sometimes beloved tools in my lab, some other times the starting point of a new path, some other an obsession, like emerging from dreams. And i like the powder of sawn stones, i collect this “garbage” at the basalt or tufa-stone quarry, they are happy when i carry such a stuff  away. Grinding, sifting, mixing,  trying, temperatures, trying again:  I love all this, and  the  tools,  the shovel, the wheel, the fire, firing, the spirit, the rythm, the repeated gesture and the surprise  and  adventure.  There is a great  strenght in the materials, and their possibility of changing is fascinating: the forms they suggest, their mistery, their getting strong and fragile through the fire,   shiny or even destroyed.      It was a firing accident that made me fall in love with extreme limits. And my short stay in Japan, with  Anagama firings,  made me more and more  fond of  wood firing, long wood firing   Work is made of clay and all these things .

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Just made these Boxes, both as objects and to test materials. Mixed local clays, recycled glass, and volcanic stones powder, oxydes and pigments.
Almost all of them are single fired, mainly in oxidation, some at 1000°C, some at 1050°C, some at 1100°C, and some at 1150°C.

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Ladybugs, very red ones

When i was asked to make 200 Ladybugs I was a bit puzzled, spent a momet thinking of it, I would have made 200 slipped earthenware whistles, ladybug-shaped, but the choice fell on a red enamel.
Ladybugs presents for a wedding party. I want to enjoy this work.
It’s a long time since i used enamels last, for various reasons i gave up glazes, mainly because Iim fine with the sober colors of the earth.
But I have enjoyed these tiny ladybugs , and now looking at them at the pasture, I feel like i’m gonna use colorful enamels soon.

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gave it Artemia as a name, it was about an iron junk, I’ve been looking so much for something like this. Now it’s at the brick factory, just time of rearranging and painting it

just arived
an old dough mixer
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Beyond the brick

Working for a while in a Hand made Bricks Factory: Fornace Fedeli.
After a couple of Summer Schools by Nino Caruso, i started a research about Architectural ceramics;
here in this ancient Brick Factory, the starting point is obviously the hand made and wood fired brick, as they use from centuries in Castel Viscardo.


These tiles are first thought as decorative ones, but i’m now testing low density materials, for both sound and thermic insulation.
I’m useing local clay and other natural materials, like volcanic stones, straw, and sawdust.
The production techniques are an evolution of the ones usually practiced in the factory.
The pieces are fired at about 1000C°, we only use a wood kiln, which gives unique colors and texture.
I’m designing and producing -with their help- prototypes for specific surfaces and needs.