Italian Manufacturing: The Art of Dinnerware

It seems that nothing can come out of Italy that is dull or drab. Clothing, shoes, furniture, floor tiles, everything has bright colors and many fanciful patterns. The same can be said of Italian Dinnerware. The collections of earthenware that come from Italy can be considered functional works of art.
A Staple for Centuries
While pottery was not originated in Italy, the clay of the riverbeds in certain parts of Italy made pottery that was durable. This lead to the Method Of Industrial Engineering creation of clay tiles for floors and roofs, known as terracotta tiles. It was also the foundation for biscotto, or earthenware pottery.
Pottery has been an important export since the early 1400’s. During this time, over twenty artisans banded together in Montelupo to sell their pottery outside of Italy. The potters here have continued with this tradition, and pottery is a vital part of their culture. The International Ceramics Festival is still held every year in Montelupo so that tourists from around the world can see the talent and collections of artisans from different parts of the globe.
Centuries of Tradition
On aspect of Italian pottery that makes it so special to collectors is that many of the ancient traditions established in the 12th and 13th centuries are still used today. Many pieces are created free hand, which makes every piece unique.
The process can take several weeks to create just one piece. The potters of Italy still use the traditional tools of the potter’s wheel, Metal Business Ideas water, and clay to begin the process. Molds are often used for plates to create uniformity and a flat bottom to make stacking easier.
They are then left to dry for up to 20 days. Once they are dry, they are fired and cooled for a couple of days before being dipped in a white glaze. This glaze creates a background for future designs. Within a day, the glaze is dry and the artisans can begin creating a pattern on the piece.
The pattern can be administered either freehand or by using a stencil. A powder is used to keep colors from blending and create a sharp outline for the design. All colors used in this process are only gray and black tones that come in life with a chemical reaction during the firing process. This means that the designer must understand the techniques used to make sure that the right colors are revealed.
During the final firing process, temperature control is vital. The temperature of the kiln is raised and lowered for up to 24 hours to make sure the piece come out perfect. Only perfection is allowed in Italian ceramic dinnerware. Pieces with flaws are destroyed.
Proper Care
With all the work put into each piece, it is important to care for Italian dinnerware properly. Each piece should be hand washed and never placed in the microwave oven. Rinse a dish under hot water before placing hot food in the item for serving. With ceramic mugs and cups, insert a metal spoon and pour the hot liquid down the spoon to prevent cracking.
Italian ceramic dinnerware is expensive, but it is also beautiful. There are different collections, so that people can create a set that matches their tastes. Exploring the different pieces of serving pieces, plates, and mugs can be like walking through an Italian art gallery.

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