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Time has stopped for us

Our work is completely handmade and proposes genuine objects of art to become part of ceramic collections.





The material and the techniques to made them are the same as those of the XVIth  century: the clay is quarried out of the local soil then it is hand turned, after a first firing the piece is dipped in an enamel obtained from the sand of the river Tiber and is decorated by hand and fired for the second time.

Finally, by applying metallic compounds to the object before the third firing in the “muffole”, we obtain the “lustre” effect.

Each piece of ours, is crafted with great care and no hurry and personally decorated by the Baldellis.

Each one is a unique piece of art.

Ours are precious gifts to give and to receive.

In t

he XVIth  century the aristocratic families got these works not only to adorn their own sumptuous rooms and their tables in a singular way, but also to mark occasions such as births, engagements marriages or simply as a means of acknowledging acts of gratitude towards powerful people like Popes, Priests or Nobles for the help received.

Our ceramic wares are unique pieces and we hope they will add a touch of class to your home.







Gubbio contemporary ceramics

The contemporary ceramist Renato Baldelli was born in Gubbio a beautiful Umbrian town on April 19th 1939.

In 1952 he began working as a ceramist in the most important local ceramics workshops.

At the age of 15 he was already a good pottery turner and in 1957 he worked in the ceramicist Sergio Romano Baffoni’s workshop, who offered him the opportunity to exhibit some works of his at the Biennale of Gubbio.

After that he lived in Australia for five years where he worked as a refined turner.
Coming back to Gubbio in 1965, he began researching the “reverbero” or “lustre” by Mastro Giorgio as well as the historiated majolicas of the  XVIth century.



 

In 1970 he opened his own workshop and continued his research in the study of the “lustre” with his colleague and friend Baffoni.
He decided to close his workshop because of the earthquake which hit Gubbio in 1984.
But he has carried on his project of always decorating majolicas in the renaissance manner.

So, thanks to a passion for his work and great patience, he has now been able to bring back to life the secrets of the technique of creating the ruby and gold reflections of the renaissance lustre ware.

But he is fighting against time to establish once again this unique technique helped by his daughter Katia who is equally dedicated to the ceramic art and like her father is determined to carry on research and development of this ancient technique.



The workshop is once more open and creates high quality and artistic value ceramics. 

After almost 40 years of study on the renaissance majolicas and “reverbero”, the results obtained are exceptional, so much so that lots of cities in Italy and throughout the world ask to exhibit our works of art in a large number of prestigious venues.



Our last exhibitions

Gubbio 2008: "Omaggio ad Alan-Caiger Smith - Maestro del lustro" - Esposizione collettiva
Thann 2008: "50° anniversario del gemellaggio Gubbio-Thann" - Exhibition
Senigallia 2007/2012: Expo Marche
Gubbio 2007: Pubblicazione "Arte e mestieri a Gubbio nel XXI sec.
Thann 2008: Esposizione in occasione del carnevale
Bruxelles 2003
:  “Celebration of European Union Italian chairmanship semester”

Genova 2003: “Treasures of ceramics” - Marked exhibition of Italian art ceramics
Roma 2001: “Ceramics of Italy” - Art manufactures – protection of manufactures
Gubbio 1999: “Never-ending vitality of the lustre” - Exhibition to commemorate the five hundred year Eugubinian citizenship of Mastro Giorgio

And moreover: Gubbio, Faenza, Montelupo.

Giancarlo Bojani writes about Renato Baldelli IN THE VOLUME EDITED ON THE OCCASION OF THE EXHIBITION “Never- ending vitality of the lustre”:
... Among all, let me mention Renato Baldelli, concealed, a real magician of the genuine Eugubinian lustre”.





The duchy of the Montefeltro rulers  and the renassaince maiolica


The duchy has its symbol in Federico da Montefeltro, the duke, par excellance, know throughout the world for the famous portrait by Piero Della Francesca.
Federico was a tireless condottiere, a great humanist, a diplomat, a patron of arts, a religious man.

In his court he gave hospitality to the most famous men of letters and artist of the time: Gentile Veterani, Giorgio di Schenico, Luciano Laurana, Leon Battista Alberti, Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Bramante among the architects, Piero Della Francesca, Pedro Barraguete, Giusto di Gand and Paolo Uccello among the painters.




Majolica ware has an ancient tradition in the terra del Duca.
In the XVth and XVIth centuries when the refined taste for majolicas depicting historical scenes developed, it soon spread to various parts of Europe, particularly because it was so often given as a wedding present and as a gift from one sovereign to another.

Gubbio, the city of Federico da Montefeltro was also the home of Mastro Giorgio the ceramicist famous for having achieved incomparable results in the lustre-technique, which made him pre-eminent in his time and his achievement has remained unequalled in this technique from the  XVIth century to now.


In fact, today, our knowledge of the lustre technique is not complete: legend recorded that Mastro Giorgio’s son, Cencio, omitted some details of the process when he handed on to Piccolpasso the steps to be followed to obtain the lustred ceramics effect.

It is a particular decoration that consists in applying metallic pigments on the surface of the ceramic articles already fired once and then in consequence of a process of chemical reduction obtained in special firewood ovens called “muffole”, reverbero effects spring out from the glaze, the different colours (ruby, gold, silver) depending on the metal used in the paste.

These effects of reverbero  made Mastro Giorgio’s ceramics unique and famous throughout the world.
 
His workshop in Gubbio was inundated by objects from all over Italy  to be lustred and mastro Giorgio had chosen to site his workshop in Gubbio, because, like Urbino, Gubbio was famous for having produced excellent works of art in the various centuries and for being a city of culture and a stable and prosperous place to live in, safe and peaceful, as the Montefeltro lords had wanted it to be.
 
The Dukes of Urbino, very rich thanks to their profitable military campaigns of territorial conquest, only needed to impose low taxes while the army and the many buildings to be built offered all citizens good opportunities for work.
Entrepreneurs in their own state, the Dukes took part in the initiatives of “their people” promoting the minor arts such as ceramics in Urbino, Gubbio, Casteldurante and Pesaro
(view map).




People did not feel the loss of freedom and they were grateful to work and carry on trade in peace and safety. Gubbio was the second most important town of the dukedom after Urbino.

It was well built and quite populated; the great fertile plain in front of it and the many hills and mountains all around offered good opportunities for agriculture and sheep-farming activities.



Moreover, inside the town, lots of craft workshops and commercial trade occurred. The strong and careful policy of the Dukes guaranteed peace throughout the territory of Gubbio, encouraging craftsmen to settle in it.
In 1508, Guidubaldo I, the last heir to the Montefeltro family, being without an heir, adopted his nephew Francesco Della Rovere also related to the Pope Giulio II.
The way of ruling of the last Montefeltro Dukes was different from that of Della Rovere: the farmer more tolerant and milder, the latter more oppressive and authoritarian with the consequence that the people were more devoted and faithful towards the Dukes of Montefeltro.
The works by Mastro Giorgio and his workshop are found nowadays in many museums all over the world from Pesaro to Faenza, from Berlin to London, Paris, New York and St. Petersburg.



Short istorical  facts about Gubbio

The town of Gubbio is situated in the north east part of Umbria.
It is placed at the feet of mount Ingino and dominates the fine wide plain in front of it.
It was founded by the Umbrian and as “the Eugubinian tablets”  witness, it dominated politically and economically the Etruscan towns of the territory.
It became a roman town in the IIIrd   century B.C.  and then municipium at the beginning of the first century B.C..
During the XIth century it was a “ commune” a free city and it made an alliance first with the Gibellinis and in the following century with the Guelphs. After coming under the dominion of the church, arts and crafts developed and new imposing and outstanding monuments like the Cathedral and the Palazzo dei Consoli were built.
In the XVIth century the life of the “free commune” of Gubbio came to an end. After many years of internal conflicts and anarchy, Gubbio submitted to the rule of the Dukes of Montefeltro.
The Signoria of Montefeltro gave a new impulse to the splendour of Gubbio up to 1508 when the town passed under the dominion of Della Rovere Dukes who governed it till 1624 when Gubbio became a direct appendange of the Papal State.

 

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