FRANCESCO DE MAIO
CERAMICA DI VIETRI
FRANCESCO DE MAIO
CERAMICA DI VIETRI
Handcrafted and hand-decorated majolica tiles reinterpret the historical memory, innovate and create redesigning the ceramic according to new tastes and trends...
Ceramic Museum of Francesco De Maio
Via Nazionale, 63 - Nocera Superiore (SA)
Glass cases used to preserve the most ancient origins of the handmade works of the Vietri tradition of Ceramica Francesco De Maio.
In the space right before the factory in Nocera Superiore (SA), the doors for a wonderful journey inside the ceramic history of Francesco De Maio do open. It is the secolar keeper of the ancient tradition of a family.
An essential set-up made of transparencies and plays of light for a wonderful journey through the history of Ceramica Francesco De Maio, which preserves the essence of the Made in Italy recognized and appreciated all over the world. Ink sketches, vintage photographs, tiles with clay amina, 18th century majolica, drawings, artefacts realized by Giuseppe Cassetta, ceramic panels from the 1940s. Tangible symbols of the ancient work of Vietri ceramics live in the museum together with the precious Gio Ponti’s white and blue majolica, of which Ceramica Francesco De Maio has the exclusive licensee for the production and sale in the world.
A journey through the ceramics that starts from the document attesting the sale of 50 oil pitchers made on October 3rd, 1494 by the master of the handmade terracotta Matteo Cassetta. It is extremely important to document attesting that since the 15th century Vietri Sul Mare, a small village located at the entrance of the wonderful Amalfi Coast, is known for the art of producing “bone et impetenate” ceramics. A production of crockery, amphorae, terracotta bricks, started by the Cassetta family to satisfy the daily needs of the people and that over time has evolved towards the handmade realization of majolica terracottas, the so-called “riggiole” used especially for covering the floors of churches and noble residences.
Among the first masters in the realization of the bricks of the late ‘400 and early’ 500, the Cassetta are renowned for the furnaces where they produce kitchen utensils and boxes, mostly unglazed, for common uses, while a more refined production (peacock pen decoration) is attested only from 1550.
The generations follow each other, and the Cassetta family produces ceramics along a professional path full of satisfactions.
Giuseppe Cassetta, Biagio Cassetta’son, also a ceramist and decorator, was born in Vietri sul Mare in 1894. He began his activity as an apprentice of his uncle Giovanni Tajani, owner of the “Tajani” factory, a family of ceramists renowned for the production of majolica and for having realized in the ‘700 the splendid dome of the Cathedral of Vietri sul Mare, adorned with bright majolica tiles in green, yellow and blue. In 1927, he moved to the “ICS” (Industria Ceramica Salernitana) of the German Max Melamerson. Here, he works together with the artists of the German school Richard Diilker and Margarethe Tewalt and again with Giovannino Carrano, the brothers Vincenzo and Salvatore Procida, Guido Gambone and others. Almost at the end of the forties, Cassetta met Gio Ponti, who commissioned him some drawings that he made on terracotta majolica. In 1944 Giuseppe Cassetta opened his factory, the “Ceramica Artistica Cassetta” (C.A.C.), in Vietri sul Mare, precisely in Fontana Limite. In 1962, he decided to retire.
And then we arrived till today, at the meeting between Vincenza Cassetta, daughter of Giuseppe, and the ceramist Francesco De Maio, also the heir of an ancient family tradition of the handmade terracotta production, among the clay quarries of Ogliara. The marriage between them is a synergy between historical ceramist families that gives life to the first of their companies, Ceramica di Vietri Francesco De Maio. The company is a realization of a dream that wanted to be and still wants to hand down and keep alive the cultural, artistic and artisan heritage of the Vietri ceramics.
There are more than six centuries of history of ceramics, history of passion for the decorations of Vietri culture, of love for the handmade production, but also of family history. It is here, next to the museum, that in the factory of Ceramica Francesco De Maio, the master decorators with passion and professionalism still create hand-painted majolica that reinterprets historical memory, innovating and creatively redesigning the collections according to new tastes and tendencies.
A real “Made in Italy” not only for the reference to the artisan quality but also for the Italian history: majolica, objects and furnishing accessories. Handmade majolica is the expression of this history, and each of them has a story to tell.
It is very ancient history, a history made of terracotta masters, a family history, the history of the De Maio-Cassetta family that today, as in the past, feeds the art of ceramics.