Olive trees, roosters, owls, pumi, Klimtian transpositions on ceramics, but also very original favors and important artistic projects. This and much more is what we find in Grottaglie (TA), in the heart of Puglia, from an idea of two ceramic brothers, Donatello and Gianni Spagnulo who create and decorate unique and colorful ceramics.
The context in which they operate is the Grottaglie Ceramics District which extends in the lower part of the town, close to the Episcopio Castle. A magical place where about 50 pottery shopscoexist, some carved into the rock at the foot of the castle, others that still preserve the ancient furnaces that characterized the district since the Middle Ages.
In each artisan workshop the typical symbols of the Grottagliese style are made such as the cockerel, the characteristic knights, the colorful and multicolored “pupae” or the most famous pumas but each shop also knows how to stand out with its own style, its own glazes and its own ideas, making the most diverse objects.
La Terra Incantata, this is the name of the workshop of the brothers, was born in 2000 but contains a story of three generations of artisans, which has expanded over the years thanks to the development of different production lines, from the traditional majolica whistle to art, up to the creation of more modern design lines.
Their style, well linked to the traditions and roots of their land, is characterized by ceramics with intense and luminous colors that range from more traditional symbols, to “out of the box” contents and themes that explore languages that are not really traditional but creative.
But let’s see in detail what these two brothers are capable of. Are you ready? 😊
Among the most interesting and impactful there is certainly the project “From canvas to clay” which consists in the transposition and reinterpretation on ceramic of famous works of art and obviously made entirely by hand. The main subject-artist of this project, at the moment, is Klimt who, more than others, marries the chromatic details and the clay engraving technique that create an absolute marvel on anyone who is looking at the works. Although these masterpieces are very famous this process allows to enhance even more the colors, already incredibly bright and alive.
Speaking instead of symbols and meanings, the owls created by La terra incantata in multiple formats and colors, represent abundance, wealth and wisdom. In addition to bringing good luck, they can also be a symbol of protection. In some places, the meaning attributed to these two little animals is so strong that even by tradition an owl feather is sewn on the brides’ dress, so as to bring luck to the wedding or again, a hole is made under the roof of the house so that it can accommodate the nests of these birds, offering hospitality hoping that they will drive away the bad guy.
Symbol of the magnificent Puglia, more than any other, are the olive trees. Those of La Terra Incantata, like all their articles, are made of glazed ceramic, modeled and painted by hand. The olive tree, in addition to being one of the pillars of the Apulian rural economy, are also synonymous with fertility, rebirth and wealth and represent an element of strength, purification and peace.
Then there are the pumi, both traditional and enriched by the works of Klimt. The pumi are reminiscent of stylized flower buds, with a rounded shape and usually ending in a point, they have a surface that can be smooth, pitted or modeled with leaves in relief and a hole at the base that allows them to be embedded in the metal stops of the railings, terraces and balconies to place them outside the house as a symbol of good luck and “defense from evil”.
Last born, the 3DRooster, a reworking of the world-famous Rooster from Grottaglie in a three-dimensional version. Yes, that cockerel that we are used to seeing on traditional plates and jugs, part of the furnishings of millions of homes and clubs around the world.