A Collaboration with FIMA Deruta
The first in our collection is one of collaboration with famed Italian ceramic maker Fima Deruta, created just in time for the holidays. We wanted a set that would carry us through the entire season and not just one specific day. It is festive and vibrant in color, true to Deruta’s designs. Also, found throughout, is our cheery red cardinal.
It was very important that no details were spared, and so those will be seen in each of the skillfully and individually hand-painted pieces. This unique collection is durable enough for everyday use and is dishwasher safe. All of the products are lead and cadmium free.
The History of FIMA Deruta
FIMA is a distinguished family-operated business with a reputable work history in the ceramic sector. The business is known throughout the world for its dedication to quality in the maiolica category, as well as for its artistic expressions. It is renowned for sustained efforts with keeping the ancient traditions of the village of Deruta, Italy, alive. FIMA has been bringing passion to its craft since 1960.
The stone hill town of Deruta, where FIMA is located, lies in the central heart of Umbria, within the Province of Perugia, and is situated between Rome and Florence. The many artistic factories and workshops there, where these Italian ceramics are produced, are responsible for Deruta’s fame, worldwide. Most of the 7,600 inhabitants are involved in the production. There are over 250 factories today.
The creation of Maiolica, the name given to Italian pottery that was popular during the Italian Renaissance, proved to be a distinguished one. It has been considered a far more expensive commodity than ordinary pottery from that time period. The use of tin-oxide during production resulted in a white opaque-like glaze that created a smooth, but not brilliant, finish. Late in the sixteenth century, maiolica workshops discovered that applying a second clear glaze to the objects produced a shiny surface that enhanced the color decoration. Today, not only are these same procedures used in-house at FIMA, but each step in the production is skillfully executed by hand and by strict quality control, just as it was back in the 1800s.
Respecting and maintaining the quality of the products for both the materials being used, an absolute lack of lead and cadmium today, and for their creative and pictorial skills is what has put FIMA on the map as a dominant leader in successful key markets such as the USA.
A Guide to Handmade Italian Ceramics
Italian dinnerware is traditionally made of red or white clay. To find out which, simply turn the object over to see the unglazed area on the bottom. This visibility of the clay shows what once prevented the object from sticking to the kiln during the firing process.
The red clay is the thicker of the two and usually used in dinnerware that needs to be more resistant to high temperature and everyday use.
The 'hand' work of creating these masterpieces begins with the raw clay material which is molded into the object's final shape. Aside from flat plates, which are sometimes hard-pressed to achieve their perfect shape, most objects are spun on the potter's wheel.
After about two to three days of air drying, and prior to the first firing, the pottery is cleaned and sanded of small imperfections or bumps.
Each object is then dipped into a 'bath' of fast-drying liquid glaze, usually white or cream, that serves as an opaque base before decoration is applied with mineral paints.
When dry, the object is ready to be 'decorated'. The design is first 'drawn' using a century-old technique called 'spolvero'. This is when the artist 'transfers' the design by dusting powdered charcoal through pinpricks previously made on a thin sheet of paper.
The object is then meticulously painted by hand stroke in color, true to maiolica tradition.
The raw colors seldom match the fired colors. The chemical reactions amongst the various metal oxide colors, the glaze, and the temperature, are what produce the final look. It takes many trial and error to produce the perfect color.
Lastly, the object is then placed into the kiln for a final firing. The charcoal from the original sketching burns in the kiln, leaving no trace behind.
The results are handmade ceramics made of the highest quality.
Productions that are manufactured by FIMA are vast, ranging from artistic and traditional provisions of high artistic value to the most varied object of modern articles. FIMA’s vast assortment includes cruets, vases, table pieces and house decorations in renaissance, floral, geometric and figurative styles.