My anecdotes about ceramics
At the end of the Nineties, following a suggestion of a talented architect, I started introducing ceramics in the restaurant. As usual for me, I wanted to start a complicated project, I don’t love an easy life. I wanted to dedicate the three rooms to ceramics: oneroom displaying large dishes painted by great artists, one room evidencing the local tiles, the small dining room with sculpturesout of ceramics and the oldest part of my collection which is represented by the vault ceiling of the bathrooms.Sometimes in your life you meet someone who mark your existence permanently. This is the case when I personally met the Master Manuel Cargaleiro. I bumped into him for instance in Vietri sul Mare, about 25 years ago. It was love at first sight. I was the first one to buy his ceramics with much enthusiasm in Vietri style which nowadays are part of my collection. After having met Cargaleiro and having found an important, dusty, hidden ceramic collection in a storage room of the Restaurants, I did a selection of the artist to include in the Restaurant.
My first visit to a ceramist was at Giancappetti workshop. This artist was a friend and estimator of Lucio Liguori and so, together with himself, I went to his workshop/fabric in Pontecagnano, near Salerno. I remember that when we just got there, Giancappetti scolded Lucio because he was driving my car which was a coupe in that period and told him not to fool himself. This visit was planned long time before so I was very excited. Lucio immediately took two dished on the thorn and he told me that it was better to buy two of them in case one would break during burning. I never met the Master before, we were introduced to each other and I explained him my idea. He turned to me, and in dialect he said to me: “Hey guy, I create tiles not dishes”. I was sure he was not going to finish those two dishes for me but I left them on the thorn anyway.
After more than year, he came in front of the door of my restaurant by his old 126 Fiat car and he told me that the dishes were ready. I asked him how much I owed him but he replied that he had never done dishes before and he had no idea about how much to charge. He added that he would have come one evening for dinner. Since that day we spent a lot of time together and many tiles have been sold in my gallery. After few years he said to me: “Ehy guy, in a such important restaurant, I wanted some of the plates to be displayed”.
Nowadays, the two ceramic plates I have in my private collection are the only plates that Giancappetti has ever done.
Another visit was to Ugo Marano workshop. My first visit in the morning in Cetara with my wife. We spent the whole day there, it was almost dusk when we came out his workshop but we bought nothing. This Master was a very clever man, a great artist but he used to charge really a lot for his ceramics. With time he became friends and today I have so many creations of him in my collection and also I am very proud to have a tribute he gave me: the logo for my gallery.
Unfortunately, both Giancappetti and Ugo Marano passed away. Nowadays I am very happy to have a close cooperation with great artists, such as Sandro Mautone, the Liguori-Family , Enzo Caruso, Ferdinando Vassallo, Franco Raimondi, Filuccio Apicella, Antonio D’Acunto. We are always more and more close beyond the prestige to show their creations. After many meetings with them I was able to convince them to create donkeys out of ceramic, but we can say that in actual times, their donkeys are spread anywhere in the world and our customers give them as a gift to the most wealthy people everywhere.
Art is my endless insanity, next challenge will be the new collection for 2021.
We will enjoy the return back of big ceramic masks. I can guarantee you that it will be something amazing.