Designer Sara Ricciardi has been at work in Nicolò Morales’s ceramics studio for the better part of a week, immersing herself in the artisan’s medium, soaking up all she can. She has created what she calls an “alive experimental corner” and filled it with found materials, pictures, and sketches to inspire their collaboration. “At the end of each day we talk a lot, sharing visions and possibilities,” says Ricciardi. Much inspiration has come from the island of Sicily itself. Morales explains: “We’ve made several trips to discover the landscapes together – to the Etna volcano, for instance, to breathe in the images and the colours of the land.” They’ve also visited churches and climbed the famous decorated steps of Caltagirone, the ancient city of pottery where Morales was born and raised, where he trained as a master craftsman, and where he lives and works today.
“I think this project is strongly linked to the territory, to its techniques and materials,” he says. They have not come immediately to a final decision on exactly what they will create together, perhaps a stool. But neither is worried because they have forged a strong working relationship. They’ve started to finish each other’s sentences. “Sara has done something that too many designers don’t do anymore,” says Morales. “She’s become acquainted with artisanal techniques, she’s been curious, she has talked, listened, and there has been a continuous exchange.” Ricciardi sums it up with a list: “So, lots of discoveries, smiles, words, discussions – and cannoli.”