The Association of Italian Ceramic-
producing Cities held a meeting entitled “The Museum Network” in Faenza from 24-26 October 2003, which coincided with the 30th anniversary of the “Mirta Morigi’s Bottega ” (“Bottega” = Studio) and the 30th anniversary of the Servadei management of the “Bottega Gatti”. The two Bottega decided to collaborate in the creation of a piece to mark the occasion. The Bottega Morigi, in addition, put on an exhibition to commemorate the event at the Faenza Exhibition Centre. The work of Mirta Morigi can be summarized into two points: “Romagnolo” (meaning “of Romagna”, an Italian region), since the local component is understood to be the ability to maintain a relationship with
the culture of a place; and feminine, with the kind of femininity that derives from the ability to follow the material in its own particular expressiveness, and from the ability to make it pretend to be something else. It is in this way that the innate abilities of ceramics to die and be reborn in a different form come together in her work. For this very reason these characteristics have been a stumbling block in her relationships with the design project mentality, which is abstract in nature, because it is connected principally to the history of design but does not adapt well to the culture inherent to the Bottega. The Bottega’s first experiences with the design world date from the early 1980s: the designers were considered “presumptuous and bad-mannered, irreconcilably different”
with no knowledge or understanding ßof the characteristics of the material. The collaborations with “Linea Terre” -a project by yours truly for a dinner service- date from the early ’80s and reset any intervention of decorative art, or, specifically, ceramics. A similar experience, if ostensibly very different, happened with Ugo La Pietra. In this case the designer sets out -in advance- the required specific details of contemporary crafts and is relentless in his insistence on expressive methods and plastic specificities. This time the importance of the object and its marketability were secondary. These, therefore, become difficult collaborations that do not fit in well with the mental traditions of the Bottega. In the mid-1980s the Bottega Morigi relocated to Palazzo Mazzolani, home of the ISIA (Istituto Superiore per le Industrie Artistiche: Italian Art & Design university with its ceramics faculty in Faenza) an occasion which gave rise to new collaboration – with Carlo Pastore, prior to the setting up of “Elica” (Carlo Pastore and Elisabetta Bovina) thanks to several fundamental differences with repect to the past. Carlo Pastore, as an ISIA student, spent part of his time in the workshops to broaden his practical experience. Out of this came literary ceramics which observed the respective cultures and the spirited zoomorphic and anthropomorphic ceramics. The suggestions for subjects and on the use of the brushwork mature in the hands of the operator finding new, happy expressive environments, widening their influence to other Bottegas. The design experience and the design culture of Carlo Pastore and Elisabetta Bovina, has a fundamental difference with respect to the others: it is born from craftsmanship, bringing with it a greater richness and distinctiveness. Out of the Elica/Morigi relationship came, in the 1990s, chromatic expressiveness and intriguing forms, completely innovative, which lead to actual reality in which the artisan’s plastic skills are dominant together with a clear emphasis on colour peculiar to ceramics. The material again discovers its infinite abilities to amaze, to be other than itself.
Italian Magazine about arts and crafts