The Festa della Ceramica is the gathering of the artisanal potters and ceramic artists of Nove (north of Vicenza in Veneto) with a little help from friends across Europe. It is held in the main street centred on the Museum Square, in mid-September, after the full heat of the Veneto plains has expired and, usually, before the autumn rains.
Here the artists we met in March at the cross-country championships display the full glory of their works and sit patiently creating new masterpieces of ceramic art for the delectation of visitors literally from around the world. These remaining few local artists had produced fine traditional rural and floral scenes, exact in detail and rich in colour. It appeared as service to the muse of ceramic art more than a commercial endeavour, as the tools of sales were a quiet welcome and a soft response.
Many tourists combine a ’manly’ chess game in the evening in nearby Marostica with an afternoon strolling through the normally quiet main street of Nove. They came bounding in from all reaches of Australia (except Tasmania) drawn together by the pied piper of Vicenza, the Didgeriblues Didgeridoo player, Florio Pozza.
The visiting Americans whether ‘based’ or ’free-range’ looked quizzically at this apparently mad Italian blowing away on a hollow wooden stick making sounds like a flat euphonium, with a jazz beat. Meanwhile, Florio’s other claim to fame, his articulated Australoveneto dictionary warmed the hearts and vocal chords of many a Veneto visitor.
Energitismo attended to launch the new Bossa Buffona, the Bossa Nove, re-created in Nove with the support of Veneto Marketing and Gianpietro Zonta from D’Orica, and promoted in 3D by the master potter, Adriano Spigarolo. The Australoveneto linkage was further enhanced by distributing an Australian perspective on two of Veneto’s ‘favourite sons’, Baccala and Gondoliers.
Several wandering purveyors of fine pottery had come up the road from the fair in Faenza the previous weekend, and set up camp for a pleasant weekend chat with the locals before retiring to their winter caves in France or beyond to create next year’s spring fair wares.
The teapots of John Townsend were created by a mind not restrained by engineering limitation, maybe with a touch of Coleridge poetry, or more possibly a limerick of Edward Lear. While Russell Coates came from the more traditional British ceramic stock providing a wide range of shapes and designs based mainly on his blue glaze. The Romanian presence from Horezu in the south of the country was demonstrated by an artisan who created the complex geometric patterns on the wheel by deft hand control of his tools and colours.
A welcome sight was the presence of several sons and daughters of the master potters who were involved in creation of their own ceramic art, sponsored by the city.
Meanwhile, Giuseppe Facchinello, now increasingly well-known for his wonderful expressionist life-form ceramic art and craftsmanship, presented his most recent creations in the family gallery on the main street. Visit at any time and chat with Carmen, Giuseppe’s mother from whom he first learned his artistic skills.