Sunday, August 11, 2013

Smitten By Plates, Innoculated by Google Images

Last evening during an on-line meander, I discovered Montelupo's pottery.  This centuries old town near Florence has been devoted to ceramics since the Renaissance. The men in harlequin attire bearing flags or weapons are most often backed by brilliant cadmium yellow and much patterning. I was smitten.
This morning after breakfast - which by the way,  ES prepared while I sat at the kitchen table with the Sunday NYT - ES fed me the names of other pottery producing villages. I typed in Montelupo, Orvieto, Gubbio and Deruta. to reap hundreds of Google images. I am sure there are more to be discovered. All have their own style, patterns, idiosyncrasies.

I was reminded of the ancient pottery patterns I pondered at the Museum of Mankind in Paris in the early 1980s, where I saw similarities between the ceramics of Europe, the Middle East and Mexico. After seeing many more images this morning, I am also reminded of the pottery shops in Mexican border towns and San Antonio where I always lust after intricately patterned platters.
Girls, clear the buffet, make space on a cupboard shelf. Your mom is sending home Italian bowls and platters for Christmas. Actually, this message is also directed toward my siblings and friends. I have been truly smitten by plates. And as of this morning, I am to a certain extent, inoculated as well. Scrolling through hundreds of images gives me a certain degree of discernment. Photos of ceramic shops inventory show a lot of kitsch. 
I will be looking for the weird and yellow and intricate. And if there are images of women in the yellow, that will be just about perfect.
P.S. I will be following in my daughter Caroline's footsteps. On her honeymoon in Tuscany, she bought painted pitchers for gifts and a very large jar/urn for her new household. I just retrieved the pitcher she gave me from its place on a high shelf. Think I'll use it every day until September 9, when we journey to Florence, the mother lode.

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