Unexpected Tuscany ceramics

treasures from fire, earth, air and water

Unexpected Tuscany ceramics. Tucked away in a stunning but little known tufa town in Maremma. Surrounded by history and mystery is a small room brimming with organic works of art. Fashioned by hand out of mother earth and decorated by a dance between fire, wood, water and air. They are the creations of local artisan, Mara Funghi. In Sorano.

With neither a plate filled with bright yellow lemons nor a painted bunch of grapes in sight, they won't be what you were necessarily looking for when you thought to take a piece of Tuscany home with you as a souvenir. (You can do that another time in the many outlets in and around Florence, in Impruneta or Montelupo Fiorentino. And including Sorano if you wish.)

But they have a beauty of a different kind. Simpler. Less colourful. But one which invites you to stay a while and look a little further, beyond their surface. To journey into their details.

Tuscany ceramics.

 

Sorano is where Mara was born. Where she grew-up and threw her very first pot. And it is to here she returned after twenty years of studying and refining her craft abroad. To her roots. To where she feels at home.

Sorano.

 

The tufa gorge upon which Sorano stands was home to an Etruscan civilization that built its tombs - grandiose temples - and homes here. And is still home to passageways cut by hand tens of metres deep through the tufa rock, joining one settlement with another. Mysterious passages that today still defy archaeologists as to their original purpose.

Mara's designs may be at the contemporary edge of raku, but they are no less tied to this land. For she has that same said Etruscan blood running through her and finds her inspiration from the landscape around her. The deep copper of the tilled metalliferous soil here below a bright blue sky. The ever changing reds of a sunset over the hills.

Which she transmits into one-off objects, completely by hand. Without the use of a potters wheel.

 

 

The Tuscany pottery with a difference

Each one a unique creation. A piece of art. Affordable art.

Ceramics in Tuscany: raku.

 

Tuscany pottery with a difference: bucchero and raku.

 

Mara Funghi ceramics in Sorano Maremma Tuscany

 

Ceramics Tuscany Italy.

 

Her pieces, sometimes combining different glazes, are of simple clean lines, and a balance of form and colour.

But she isn't one to play with lots of different glazes. Preferring instead the raw clay surface and its possibilities. Rough or smooth. She uses black and white raku crackle glazes. And for colours, metal oxides: copper, cobalt and iron. Which remind her of the colours of her land.

Pottery Tuscany Italy.

 

Souvenir ceramics from Tuscany Italy: for sale in Sorano Maremma

 

Mara Funghi ceramica Sorano

 

Metal oxide glazed pottery in Tuscany

 

Completely handmade Tuscany ceramics by Raku artist Mara Funghi

 

Raku ceramics in Tuscany Italy

 

Tuscany ceramic plate

 

The "polo mints"! My name for them, not Mara's. Her inspiration for their form comes from old Korean money.

Tuscany ceramic art.

 

Pottery from Tuscany Italy.

 

 

The dance with fire

The moment most exciting for Mara in producing her raku pieces is, "la Cottura" - the firing. She describes it as a moment of joy.

Raku pit fire at a pottery workshop Tuscany

 

Mara at work.

 

 

And some fun

Mara makes pigs too! Now who wouldn't want those in their garden?!

Pottery pigs in Tuscany Italy

 

 

Where to find Mara's Tuscany ceramics

Tuscany ceramics with a difference

 

You can find Mara's tiny shop - called Maraku - in the Piazza della Chiesa, Number 11, in Sorano. Right next door to the 13th century church, the Collegiata di San Nicolo.

Tel. (mobile) +39 339 3514359

www.marafunghi.it

 

Interested in a pottery holiday in Tuscany?

Pottery holiday Tuscany Italy: a Tuscan ceramic course in Maremma

 

Watch this space!

Details of small group workshops of pure creation with Mara coming soon. Dream holidays for potters don't get much better than this. Bucchero and raku from morning till dawn. In a setting that will have you spinning with your own imagination and creativity. In undiscovered Tuscany.

 

 

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