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A Trip to the Ceramics Factory

posted Jul 13, 2011, 11:41 PM by Jen Hayes   [ updated Jul 14, 2011, 3:39 PM ]
The ceramics factory of G. Grazia & C. has been in existence for 25 generations, a testament to their craftsmanship and quality.  Here’s a run through of the process as we got to experience.

Asymmetrical pieces must be molded, and rough edges must be smoothed down with a wet sponge.  Additional clay is added for the base of the piece and pre-molded handles are also attached.  There are rooms and rooms of molds for the different shapes the factory creates.  There are the
standards, like square platters and oval bowls, but we also saw molds for a fish shaped tray among the stacks!

Just about any symmetrical shape can be thrown on a potter’s wheel, and we watched transfixed as shapes grew before our eyes at the hands of a talented clay worker.  In minutes a lump of clay had been transformed into a beautiful vase -- only to be sliced in half so he could show off how thin he could make the vase’s walls!

The ceramics pieces are glazed and meticulously painted before being fired in a kiln.  The factory uses a special glass glaze that is relatively (within the last 50 years) new to the centuries-old tradition.  This allows the pieces to better hold their colors and makes them dishwasher safe.  New designs are introduced every few months, and several standard, recognizable patterns are always in production, and often have been for even hundreds of years.

Thanks to G. Grazia & C. for the fantastic tour!