It has always been my dream, to decorate ceramics in Sicilian style.
One day, thanks to a friend of mine, I learned that in Aci Sant’Antonio a master ceramic decorator was holding a course for a group of friends in the Sicilian cart museum.
It is said that Aci Sant’Antonio owes its origin to Jachium, a mysterious settlement of Greek origin, of which there are no traces left today.
It is a charming town located between the sea and the slopes of Etna, and is presumed to have been founded in the year 1169 by a group of inhabitants who, following strong earthquake shocks, left the coastal area to retire to these districts rich in woods.
Aci Sant’Antonio prides itself on being the city of the Sicilian cart, and its museum dedicated to it is one of the major attractions to visit.
This tradition began to develop as early as the 18th century, a very flourishing period in the commercial sphere.
Thus was born the art of the Cart, from construction of the cart to rich decoration, an artistic expression brought to the highest level by the master Domenico Di Mauro who passed away recently at the age of 103 years.
Through my friend Marinella, I asked to be able to attend the decoration course. This is how my adventure begins.
As soon as I entered the museum, the excitement rose when I saw a Sicilian cart set aside among the bales of straw after a life of honourable work in the fields.
For a moment I went back in time and I saw myself as a child in my sunny countryside on a Sicilian cart, with my grandmother Sara and sweet Nina, who didn’t seem so sweet when she got mad at the rare passing of some cars.
Salvo’s smile, proud pupil of the great teacher already mentioned, brought me back to the present, and I was welcomed as if we have always been friends.
My gaze rested on the ceramic-covered walls and on the table ready for the lesson, so my much desired journey was to begin.
Slowly, lesson by lesson, with the guidance of Salvo, between chatter and laughter with friends, I make my first works.
The first time I witnessed the opening of the oven, my amazement was great, the colours shone, they are full of energy, and you immediately want to get to work to repeat the magic again many times.
Now, after this quarantine, I can’t wait to go back to the museum, my Don Turiddu to be completed awaits me, with my hands on my hips and a proud look lost in the horizon of life.