International School of Ceramics - Ceramic Courses, Workshops, Seminars

The Potter

With Beauty May I Walk
Navajo Prayer

With beauty may I walk.
With beauty before me, may I walk.
With beauty behind me, may I walk.
With beauty above me, may I walk.
With beauty below me, may I walk.
With beauty around me, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty,
lively, may I walk.
In old age wandering on a trail of beauty,
living again, may I walk.
It is finished in beauty.
It is finished in beauty.

 

 

Artist Statement

I was born and raised in a beautiful farm. I still have vivid memories of that time but one in particular stands out. That is of when I would gather sand on the dirt road under the huge platan tree and plough it, with those beautiful pieces of bark, into a field. I was trying to imitate my father of course and I loved the results. Only much later on, at art college, I realised that in fact I was making what could easily have been interpreted as a Zen garden. I didn’t know that I was at art school already !
I come across clay and the wheel by chance in the early 70’ in London. After six years of studies and experience essentially as a thrower, I come back to Italy where in 1980 I established a workshop for the production of domestic ware and the summer school.
During the years my approach to making has changed and has fluctuated both in the pots and firing techniques. At present I am primarily interested on porcelain as a material and wood firing as a way to complement the essence of what I want to convey.
The wheel was and still is my drawing force to which I completely surrender. I have been a production potter and I believe that repetition has a significance that goes far beyond the idea of production. I strongly believe that repetition, rehearsal and continuous practice are part of the fundamental elements of any art expression. (Genuine work is never easy. The effort is the reward, and success which costs nothing is worth exactly what it cost. Charles Fergus Binns).
I now make pots in small series, creating similar forms in various sizes and exploring the relationships between them. I approach the process of making with as much freedom as possible and I indulge in improvisations, variations, alterations and celebrations.
My ultimate goal is to trap beauty while drawing three dimensionally on a spinning wheel. I am very fortunate and can be profoundly moved by a finished form in it’s leather hard state. When this happens I feel that the object is somehow completed even before glazing and firing.
I have dedicated and still give a lot of time and effort to teaching. Most of my energy is concentrated on organizing, running and developing new initiatives for La Meridiana, the International School of Ceramics in Tuscany of which I am the founder and director.
In 2011 La Meridiana, as a partner, celebrated the start in Certaldo Alto, of a Studies Abroad Program with East Caroline University. An initiative which brings hundreds of young art students to the wonders of Italy.

“ I am willing to accept less than the best, but never to strive for less than the best. To do otherwise is like taking aim without your sights on the bull’s eye”.
David Shaner.





Shows

2012 Four Ceramic Artists. Montelupo Fiorentino, Firenze, I
2011 Italian ceramists, Group show. Bandol, F
2009 Europe Show. The Gallery at Bevere, Worcester, UK
2007 Sixteen Hands Exhibition, VA, USA
1997 to 2006 No Shows. Have dedicated most of my time and energy to organising,
promoting and teaching at the International School of Ceramics in Tuscany
1996 Elba Island. Gulliver Gallery. “Four European Ceramists”
1995 Museum Val de Charmey, CH. One man show
Munich. Krempl Gallery. One man show
Wien. Keramik Galerie. One man show
1994 Tokyo. NOA Galley. Two man show
1991 Burgersaal-Northeim, City Museum. One man show
1990 Bologna. Gallery “Il Giardino dell’Arte” Group Show
1988 S.Stefano Camastra. National Invitational. 1st prize
Paris, Bruxelles, Amsterdam. Group shows
1987 Barberino V.E. Palazzo Pellegrini. One man exhibition
1985 Zurich. Heimatwerk. Group Show.
1984 Assemini. National Invitational. Price winner
1983 Trieste. Gallery La Scelta. One man show
1982 Museum Laveno-Monbello. “Terra-Terra Uno” Invitational
1980 – 1981 Group shows in Italy
1978 – 1979 Group shows in London, Guilford, Cambridge, Dartington

Pietro Elia Maddalena - Loc.Bagnano 135 - 50052 Certaldo - Firenze - Italia