Vases realised in “bucchero”. The black, shiny finishing is typical of this special, painstaking technique of Etruscan origin, which nowadays is mastered only by a few skilful artisans, located in particular in the Umbria Region. The clay is modelled by hand, coal-fired and polished with a boxwood stick.
Ugo La Pietra is a Milan-based artist, designer and architect, defining himself as a “researcher” in visual art and communication. Curator of several exhibitions at Milan’s Triennale, Venice’s Biennale, Lyon’s Musée d’Art Contemporain, the FRAC Centre in Orléans, Faenza’s Museo delle Ceramiche and many other international institutions, in 1979, he was awarded the Compasso d’Oro. His experiences in architecture and design research culminated in themes such as “La casa telematica” (MoMA, New York City, 1972; Milan Trade Fair, 1983), “Rapporto tra Spazio reale e Spazio virtuale” (The Relationship between Real and Virtual Space, Milan’s Triennale 1979, 1992), Triennale of Milan dedicates to his work an important exhibition in 2015. La Pietra’s contribution to the applied arts and to the re-evaluation of a “territorial” design is of capital importance.
Master ceramist Giovanni Mengoni, originally from Gubbio, lives and works in Perugia. In his works he applies ancient traditional techniques, like the “bucchero” from Umbria, to contemporary design and furnishing objects. Bucchero pottery, whose origins date back to Etruscan times, is a black, glossy kind of ceramics which, after being moulded and air-dried, is then fired in kilns with an oxygen-deprived atmosphere, granting the typically dark colour. Different trends merge together in his creations, from vintage-inspired eclecticism to minimalism. Mengoni often cooperates with artists and architects in the production of bespoke items. For the Doppia Firma project, he has worked with the furnace “Buccheri di Antonio Rossi” in Gubbio.