Maria Laura

L’artista è un ricettacolo di emozioni
che vengono da ogni luogo:
dal cielo, dalla terra, da un pezzo di carta,
da una forma di passaggio, da una tela di ragno.

(Pablo Picasso)

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I, Maria Laura ... introduce myself

I was born in Conselice ( Ra) on 16th February 1959.
In 1976 I got my diploma from “Istituto d’Arte Ceramica” in Faenza, specialising in Art of Restoration and obtaining, after two years , the title of restorer from “ Magistero di restauro di ceramiche antiche “.
After completing my studies I had the pleasure and the honour to work with famous artists like Angelo Biancini, Alfonso Leoni e Carlo Zauli.
In 1980 I opened my first workshop in Conselice (Ravenna), followed by others in Savignano sul Rubicone (Rimini) from 1987 to 1992 and in Lugo di Romagna (Ravenna) from 1996 to 2001.
I started to mix different styles combining Faenza traditional style with my own personal style thus creating works of art characterized by different techniques and expressions.
From 2001 to 2009 I enriched my professional skills devoting myself to graphic design, working with an internationally established ceramic industry, Cooperativa Ceramica d’Imola.
Artistic ceramics remained anyway my true essence.
That is why I went back to my most profound passion: tortoises, my source of inspiration and my life companions using what I had learnt and elaborated in my past experiences.
Wtih my creations, I wished and I still wish to honour them giving them humanity, elegance and refinement , thus dignifying their sweet prehistoric clumsiness.
All my creations are packed up in such a way to enhance their refinement and they are accompanied by their own certificates of authenticity and guarantee .
Nobilta’rta (io metterei solo il nome della collezione, senza The ossia il “le”)
“Margherita, Emma, Gemma, Lucrezia, Giuseppina, Elena”, are some of the noble tortoises that I am going to show you in this collection.
They are all unique pieces realised in white chamotte. Thanks to enamel this technique creates an effect called “craquelle”.
Faithful to Faenza ancient tradition, the decorations are painted on majolica using coloured oxides.
Iridescent, pearly enamels, pure gold and platinum , all applied by brush, show and enhance all their beauty thanks to a third firing.


i… and my inspiring muses

Since I was a child I have loved tortoises, and it was the love for these reptiles which gave me the idea to devote most of my work to them with the aim to enhance the aspects that I notice but that are so difficult to perceive in nature.
My collections, executed in different ceramic techniques, started in this way, in order to express the emotions that these beautiful, age-old animals give me.


I... and Ancient History

I have always been curious about the origins and the ceramic techniques of the ancient Mediterranean culture. So I decided to explore history and mythology, discovering characters, events and myths that appear in the original pieces that are now kept in different thematic museums.
Thanks to the study of Villanovan Greek, Etrurian pieces and following different courses held by greatly experienced, eminent teachers, I create items that are decorated following the technique used in the past with the use of ‘terra sigillata’ and of different tools to scratch which are similar to the original ones. As for the decorations, I make use also of the exclusive ‘hare whisker’.


I... and Raku, a Japanese ancient technique

The Raku technique began in times past in Japan, purposely dedicated to the tea ceremony.
It is a technique that can well be adopted nowadays in a revised modern way; the use of metals, enamels and coloured crystallines , which give a shining aspect, combined with a particular, scenographic firing, create the craquelè effect. The alternation of copper and gold metallic glares with brilliant crystallines produces a sensational play of colours which is greatly appreciated.


I... and SAGGAR technique, ancient China, Korea and Japan

What about trying our hand at another ancient Eastern technique characterized by an effect that reminds us of a wonderful polished marble that enhances the shape of the item?
The saggar is a very particular technique of ceramics, characterized by chromatism created by the application of metals and salts.
In the past the saggar was used in China as well as in Korea, Japan and the United Kingdom.


I... and the Renaissance in Faenza

In my early years at school, I had my first approach to ceramics in Faenza where I attended the well known ‘Istituto statale d’arte Gaetano Ballardini’. There I learnt and started to use the decoration on majolica in the sixteenth-century style; I attended a two-year specialization course in restoration where I widened my knowledge in the painting style of the period and in the technique of faience majolica .
I became so keen on this style that I started to combine ceramics and finely hand-embroidered linen cloth, perfectly matching.
Since then I studied and specialized in other techniques, but sometimes I feel nostalgic and I still produce new items of that type.


The influence of Romagna in my works

Romagna, my beloved native country, is well known for its rust- coloured printed cloth with its ancestral symbols and its typical traditional decorations.
As a tribute to the region where I was born I realized a match between ceramics and cloth which is printed
following the ancient technique which makes use of hand-carved pearwood prints.
I have also created country drawings on coarse, hand painted linen (without using prints or screen printing). This type of items covers the tables and pieces of furniture typical of the poor art of the region.
To match them I created objects with authentic, traditional, but always modern shapes.


MARIALAURA and her world

My Italian roots and the bond with my native region did not prevent me from satisfying the inner curiosity which encouraged me to explore the world and to know different ethnic groups and traditions, finding in every place and every experience artistic inspiration and cultural enrichment.
I had the good fortune to know people who encouraged and spurred me to widen my knowledge and experimentation in this field, thanks to their appreciation.
My adventure started during my school years in 1973 thanks to the lessons of my highly esteemed and beloved teachers Biancini, Piancastelli, Zauli, Leoni, Zoli, Rontini and Ronchi at the ‘Istituto statale d’arte Gaetano Ballardini’, well known all over the world.