When we talk about Sicilian handcrafted ceramics we immediately link them to the little city Caltagirone, which is located in the province of Catania. In fact, it is one of the best known Italian cities for the craft production of ceramics.
Thanks to its handcrafted objects made by local artisans, Caltagirone is one of the main tourist destinations in Sicily. Walking through the streets of this little town, tourists can admire the colourful Sicilian ceramics, which include vases, plates, amphoras, pine cones, Moor’s heads and other objects beautifully decorated by hand.
Since Caltagirone is located near the Etna Volcano, you can also find many lava stone products decorated with majolicas, such as tables, floors, stairs.
Other typical Sicilian ceramic products are the so-called ‘Bummuli’, large terracotta containers used in the past to store water, so that it could be kept cool in the summer days. Even if they are not used anymore for this purpose, these large vases are nice ornamental objects that decorate many Sicilian gardens or balconies.
Since Sicily has a long tradition in the production of ceramic objects, there are several schools where you can learn this ancient art. Here you will discover how to work and decorate clay, in order to obtain ceramic end products.
The first step in ceramic work is ‘wedging’, that is the process of mixing clay to remove air bubbles; then clay is put on a lathe, where it is moulded, giving it the shape and size desired; once moulded, it begins the drying process, so that the clay can lose water; after that the objects are put in the kiln for the firing. Then the items are glazed and finally they are decorated, letting the artist’s creativity flow.
In conclusion, Sicilian ceramics are part of an ancient tradition of our land and reveal the mastery of the local artisans in making objects, which are exported all over the world.