Ceramic – Pottery spoon
Sicilian Maiolica Ceramics from Caltagirone
Maiolica is Italian tin-glazed pottery made in dazzling colours. New methods for making varied colours of glazes were initially brought to Sicily by the Arabs of North Africa in medieval times, and the art of making Maiolica then spread from Sicily throughout Italy during the Renaissance.
One of the most popular artistic elements of Sicily is ceramics. This unique art form has resulted in many great works of art being showcased in Sicilian areas, whether it is through museums, sights or even through artisans and traders in their shops and workshops. Here then is an overview of the origins of ceramics in Sicily, its processes and common areas to produce these magnificent works of art.
Ceramic from Sicily and Caltagirone is the capital of pottery
Caltagirone is one of the eight towns of south-eastern Sicily known as the baroque towns of the Val di Noto, which were almost entirely destroyed and rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693 and classified as a UNESCO world heritage site.
Ceramic – pottery production in Caltagirone is a millenium old tradition making the town one of the most important ceramic production centers of Sicily, renowned in the entire Mediterranean. While the ceramic tradition dates to prehistorical times, the name of the town itself is believed to derive form the Arabic word qal’at-al-ghiran, meaning “Castle (or fortress) of vases”.
Tourism and ceramics are the most important resources of this pretty town where every corner tells an interesting and ancient story: the name itself comes from an Arabic term that meant “Castle of pottery jars”. Plenty of extraordinary works of art are still preserved in the city’s Museum of Pottery, where some of the terra-cotta objects date back to the period of Magna Grecia. Together with elegant and refined palaces and churches, the historical centre of Caltagirone is studded with a multitude of tiny lovely boutiques and shops selling beautiful ceramics, pottery and terra-cotta works of art from the local laboratories: a souvenir is compulsory!