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Giulio Dishware Sets: Three Ways for the Holidays

Charger with Orange Stripe

The holidays are a time to embrace tradition, whether that means baking up dozens of cookies for the school bake sale, hosting the neighborhood cocktail party or adding new heirloom pieces to your dishware set. As for me, I will be doing it all (including tackling a new egg nog recipe that I can’t wait to try out!)

Today, I will show you some of my favorite holiday displays featured on our Pinterest board. Then, break down each display by item and show you how to get the look with Emilia Ceramic’s gorgeous Gialletti Giulio collection.

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Run by third generation brothers, the Ceramiche Gialleti Guilio studio is in the heart of Deruta, a picturesque medieval hilltown in Umbria, Italy. Ceramics are a typical product of Deruta and there is a century-long history of spectacular craftsmanship and beauty. The Gialletti Giulio style of ceramics combines tradition with original, innovative designs; the dishware sets are fun to mix, match and combine.

Here are just a few ideas for highlighting these colorful pieces.

Red with Turquoise

Love this look! It’s modern, fresh and still holiday-ish. Red and turquoise from designer Kathryn Greeley. Take the red and turquoise color trend even further by coordinating tree ornaments and other home decor items.

turquoise and red holiday table

Get the Look

Charger with Red Stripe

Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio / Charger with Red Stripe

Plus, Salad Plate with ‘Fogliame’ Border

Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio / Salad Plate with 'Fogliame' Border

Letting the Plates Shine

The simplicity of the natural setting of this table allows the beauty of these stunning plates to shine (image by Premier Table Linens.) I like the natural feel of this look and would even jazz it up with more natural elements such as adding evergreen tree branches and sparkly pine cones.

hand painted deruta dinnerware

Get the Look

‘Il Sole’ Salad Plate

Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio / 'Il Sole' Salad Plate

Orange and Blue

Who doesn’t love orange? Orange is a happy color, and goes wonderfully with darker blue. It’s no surprise they look so great together, on the color wheel these are complimentary colors that are on opposite sides (which means they really pop when put together).

Charger with Orange Stripe

Get the Look

Charger with Orange Stripe

Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio / Charger with Orange Stripe

Plus, ‘Alba’ Salad Plate

Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio / 'Alba' Salad Plate

You can see how Gialletti marries a refined, sophisticated look with the authenticity of visible brushstrokes, which is a true Italian characteristic.

The combinations of these pieces are endless and can allow for a unique table setting year  after year. Check out all the options on the Emilia Ceramics website here.

What Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio color combinations will you enjoy this year?

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What Makes Deruta Patterns Unique Among Italian Ceramics?

Deruta is one of Italy’s historic ceramic centers, known for intricate designs and truly amazing Italian ceramics. Vietri dinnerware is famous for its animals, Tuscan majolica for its nature motifs of flowers and fruits. Deruta patterns are intricate and detailed, often combining organic and abstract motifs. The results are similar to the patterns in a kaleidoscope: ever-changing and always beautifully striking.

Italian Deruta

 

Deruta is especially famous for hand painted dinner plates. Patterns go back to the Renaissance when the area manufactured ceramics for popular demand (Faenza catered to the aristocrats and Montelupo Fiorentino to trade outside of Italy). The geometric motifs continue with today’s Italian ceramic artists, many of whom use the same colors and techniques as their predecessors.

Looking at the plates from Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio, I see a rough divide in motifs: organic flourishes and stylized geometry. The organic-inspired plates are what many imagine when they think about Deruta patterns: arabesques, plenty of colors, and whimsical figures (like the dragons on these hand painted dinner plates in the traditional Raffaellesco pattern).

Raffaellesco Deruta plate

These Italian ceramics are full of personality and whimsy. Every time I look at the Raffaellesco and Fogliame (inspired by waving leaves) I find something new. The Fogliame design makes me think of waves and breezes, not just curled leaves.

fogliame Deruta plate

The Deruta patterns with stylized geometry have an almost Art Deco feel. Though inspired by natural phenomenon as their names suggest (Nevicata is “snowfall,” Alba is “sunrise,” and “Il Sole” is “the sun”), the patterns feature more angles and repetition.

Deruta patternDeruta pattern

The contrast with deep jewel tones and bright gold also makes these geometric plates stand out. Although rooted in centuries of tradition, this Italian style dinnerware feels quite modern.

Deruta patterns definitely stand out from other Italian ceramics. They also mix well with less intricate motifs, like these boldly striped plates. Much as people did in past centuries, layering Deruta plates is a wonderful opportunity to mix patterns and colors to create a table fit for your most special occasions. And since Italian majolica is quite sturdy, you can use these gorgeous Italian ceramics for every meal, adding elegance to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s no surprise that people can’t get enough of their favorite patterns for plates, serving ware, and table accessories.

Deruta Italian plate

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New Hand Painted Italian Ceramics from Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio

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When thinking about hand painted Italian ceramics words like durable, intricate, original, and historic come to mind. From the locally sourced clay to fabulous, colorful glazes, Italian ceramics certainly stand out. That’s one of the reasons I was so excited to find Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio, a studio run by the brothers Antonio and Carlo, in Deruta, Italy. Another historic center for majolica, the highly ornate designs and lush colors of Deruta ceramics are justly famous. After I met the amazing team of artists at this third generation family workshop in the summer of 2013, I knew I had to share them as part of the Emilia Ceramics collection. Unpacking the boxes has been amazing.

For centuries hand painted Italian ceramics were used by wealthy families for their meals and home decor. Deruta became known for the intricate decorative work on their ceramics, setting their plates particularly apart from the rest. Gialletti Giulio’s exquisite plate collection continues this tradition, with intricate borders in an amazing array of colors. I love how the patterned borders create a strong statement when stacked together.

Italian hand painted ceramic platesItalian hand painted plates The decorative patterns really shine on their one of a kind jewelry boxes too. The flower-inspired motifs remind me of mandalas. You can also see every brushstroke, which makes these pieces even more special. These jewelry boxes are definitely a great gift idea for anyone who loves Italy and needs a small piece they can see every day on a dresser or tabletop.

Italian jewelry box

Other great daily reminders of Italy also include a variety of home accessories like salt and pepper shakers, oil and vinegar sets, and soap dispensers.

Italian salt and pepper setServing platters are another versatile, high-impact piece whether used as a centerpiece or holding your main course for dinner. Watching the artists work at Gialletti Giulio was much like visiting my other Italian artists; these are truly people who are meticulous and have a passion for their craft. I can’t wait to see what I unpack next so I can share even more of their amazing hand painted Italian ceramics with you all.

Italian serving platter

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Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio

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Founded in 1959 by the father/son team of Virgilio and Giulio Gialletti, this traditional Italian ceramics studio in the heart of Deruta is now run by third generation brothers Antonio and Carlo. Combining tradition with original, innovative designs, Gialletti Giulio draws on a rich history of majolica ceramics that has flourished since before the 13th century.

Maestro Franco Lamincia has been the master painter at Ceramiche Artistiche Gialletti Giulio since the company’s founding. In keeping with their motto, dove l’arte prende forma (where art takes shape), every piece is handcrafted from start to finish by their small team of artists. The clay is sourced from the surrounding hills, then goes through the entire majolica process of shaping, two firings and glazing by talented artisans, many of whom have been with the studio since the beginning.

The town of Deruta is itself a “living museum” of ceramic workshops that continue to produce traditional motifs with polished glazes in rich, saturated colors, and highly ornate designs. While visiting Deruta in June, 2013 a friend brought me to Ceramiche Artistiche Gialletti Giulio. On the day I visited, I met Michele who is a long time friend of Antonio and Carlo. Michele has worked for the family for 12 years. His job is to work with foreign customers (especially those like me, who speak very little Italian) and organize the shipments. It has been great working with Michele – he was friendly, polite, and very helpful as I worked to find my favorite designs.

I am honored to add the exceptional work of the Gialletti family to the Emilia Ceramics collection. I truly believe that it represents the best that Deruta has to offer. I love the way these pieces marry a refined, sophisticated look with the authenticity of visible brushstrokes and true Italian character. Enjoy!

View Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio’s Work
See Other Artists

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Holiday Hours, New Arrivals, and Ginger Jars

Emilia Ceramics holiday hours

Christmas is next week, and our Boulder Showroom has been busy with people trying to find the perfect gift for people on their lists. Luckily I have a few gifts of my own for Emilia Ceramics customers: two brand new artists for the collection and some new arrivals from old favorites. Here’s the run down of what’s going on:

Holiday Hours

We have extended hours in our Boulder Showroom for easy holiday shopping. Stop by and check out new arrivals not yet on the website, unique non-ceramic gifts (including these gorgeous handmade ornaments from Mexico — 100% of the profits go to supporting the community from which they come), and plenty of gift ideas from ginger jars to serving platters to salt and pepper sets. If you’re not in Boulder, call us at 303.442.0180 before Friday for express shipping options so that gifts will arrive in time for Christmas.

New Artists

Ceramica Valenciana’s modern Spanish ceramics are already a hit, and I’ve been working hard at getting even more of their mugs, pitchers, ginger jars, and serving ware on the website.

white ginger jar
We also have a new artist from Italy, Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio, a third generation majolica studio in Deruta. Their unique jewelry boxes, table accessories, and serving platters are truly stunning with intricate patterns and an array of rich colors. Stay tuned as we add their elegant place settings to the website over the next few days! Again, there are even more pieces in our Boulder Showroom, so stop by and see these beautiful Italian ceramics in person before anyone else.

handmade Italian jewelry box

 Italian salt and pepper set

Ginger Jars

Talavera Vazquez fans are all-about this Mexican studio’s gorgeous ginger jars, but I’m in love with their smaller pieces this holiday season. The small round striped vases make a great gift, as do their candleholders.

Mexican candleholdersOf course, ginger jars large and small remain favorites for traditional and modern homes alike. Mexican ceramics are ideal for people who love to entertain with causal elegance, making the Vazquez and Gorky collections popular year round, not just for the holidays.

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Majolica Madness in Deruta!!

drive_to_derutaAfter a few days in Florence, I was excited to get back to the country. It has been 5 years since I was in Italy last and I had forgotten just how beautiful Tuscany truly is! Especially this time of year — rolling green hills, red poppies everywhere, and little hill towns around every bend in the road. I spent 2 nights in beautiful Montepulciano and then headed even farther south, to the equally beautiful region of Umbria. orvieto_2The most visible difference between Umbria and Tuscany seems to be slightly steeper hills in Umbria… and a different name for the delicious local wine served at restaurants. I was staying in Orvieto, a town known best for its cathedral, its ceramics, and its Classico wine. I was of course there for the ceramics, but I also enjoyed time spent gazing at the cathedral and drinking the Classico.

But back to the real reason I was in Umbria: a visit to Deruta, a small town with a big ceramics industry. There are actually two parts of Deruta: the small old town up on the hill, which is quaint and full of ceramic stores, and the larger “new” area down below, which is a little faster-paced, but also full of ceramic stores (as well as workshops and showrooms). I started my day in the old section, enjoyed a cappuccino on the main square and then strolled around, doing a little window shopping to whet my appetite. Then I ventured down into the more modern town, where I went looking for old acquaintances and new ceramics for the Emilia Ceramics collection.majoliche

My first stop was visiting my uncle’s good friends Silvana and Marcello who have a small ceramics business at the outskirts of town. I interrupted Silvana in the midst of her work and explained in my best Italian: il zio mio e Gifford (my uncle is Gifford), which was all the introduction I needed. We had a fun catch-up session (which was repeated when Marcello arrived a few minutes later) in which I spoke my few words of Italian mixed with much more Spanish and they spoke Italian quickly with lots of hand gesturing to try to make me understand. In the end, Silvana suggested that I go visit a ceramics shop in town that I hadn’t heard of before. She offered to take me and introduce me to the nice people who worked there.

gialleti            sale_pepe
And that’s how I ended up at Ceramiche Gialletti Giulio, a beautiful shop packed with vases, lamps, plates, clocks, and lots of fun smaller pieces like salt & pepper grinders and oil & vinegar dispensers. I got the royal treatment from Michele—including a tour and explanation of the process (all in amazing English)—and found some great pieces. I am most excited about the colorful, yet sophisticated table settings I am hoping to add to the Emilia Ceramics collection!

My next stop was right nearby — I was meeting with Gerardo Ribigini whose shop Geribi (which I just realized is a combination of his first and last name : ) I visited 5 years ago. I spent quite a while walking around, looking at his beautifully painted pieces and asking about different patterns, styles, shapes, and designs. I’m definitely looking forward to adding some of his skilled work to the collection as well.

geribi_red_square

jewelry_boxes

womenThe final place I went in Deruta was another special visit suggested by my uncle Gifford. Over the years that he’s been visiting Deruta, he has befriended Carmen Monotti, an exceptional artist who creates various types of ceramic artwork. My favorites are her recreations of Klimt paintings (on vases, wall-hangings and necklace pendants — photo on the right)… And the tiles she paints, upon request, for the nearby church, La Chiesa Madonna dei Bagni (photo below). When “miracles” happen in peoples’ lives miracles_1(anything from surviving a car crash to having a healthy baby), those touched by the event commission Carmen to make a tile (in Italian called an ex voto) depicting the scene. The ex voto is hung in the church. I LOVE these tiles — there’s something about their soft colors and simplicity that is so charming.

I had a great time hanging out with Carmen, joking about my uncle, discussing my business, and looking at her artwork. On the way out of town I stopped at La Chiesa Madonna dei Bagni. It is a small church, with simple white walls that make the perfect backdrop for the tiles covering every wall. I would have taken more pictures, but my camera had run out of batteries after the long day filled with so many photogenic subjects! Below you’ll see one of Carmen’s most recent tiles that is hung in the church, followed by an older one done by another artist.

I’m off to the Amalfi Coast now for the final leg of my Italian adventure. I’m going to visit Vietri Sul Mare, another ceramic-centric town, where the well-known Ceramica Solimene is located. I’ll keep you posted!

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