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© Ceramiche Tastardi s.r.l. P.I. 03846720658 made in STUDIO109
 
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History

Storia

The fabrics, the clothes

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Lamberto Tastardi, a.k.a. “Luciano”, after studying with prof. Rossi from 1940 to 1955, begins to work as a ceramic decorator, with the best ceramic factories in Salerno, such as D’Agostino and Ernestine, and Musa in Vietri sul Mare. In 1955, Luciano sets up his own business, “Creazioni Luciano”. He devotes himself to hand-painted fabrics, into which he transfers the decoration of ceramics, consisting of swift and definitive brushstrokes. He devises a method of manual printing based on dipping molds – which he makes himself from tire tubes – into color, obtaining abstract fantasies. His curtains, exhibited at industry exhibitions (SAMIA, MITAM), catch the attention of famous architect Giò Ponti who, thinking this was the work of a well-established manufacturer, writes a letter to Luciano from the editorial office of Domus /(important Italian architecture/design/art magazine)*, expressing appreciation for his work.

 

Thick-glaze ceramics

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Thick-glaze ceramics are characterized by the use of a base body made with white clay or a refractory material, in order to overcome the significant expansion of the overlying glazed body; colors were then applied onto the base body, followed by very thick glaze. The pieces, either in relief, engraved or flat, would feature a specific image or an abstract fantasy. The peculiarity of this ceramic process lies in the random behavior of the glazes and colors during the firing, with smearing and blending that made each piece unique. This technique was soon abandoned due to the large number of rejects.

 

The Mezzotint

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The etched drawing reveals the true color of the white body, starkly standing out against a homogeneous dark background, where the hard-enamel color tones depict fantasy themes such as the fork-tailed mermaid, the world of the deep sea, or the peacocks of Eastern inspiration.

 

The Ceramic Cloisonné

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Luciano invents a new technique that recalls the Cloisonné of jewelry, and which makes him identifiable both in Italy and abroad.A raised drawing, into whose closed areas colored transparent glazes are hand applied, lying perfectly flush after firing. The concept, very similar to stained glass in appearance, uses white clay (not the red clay generally used in ceramics from Vietri sul Mare), which highlights the drawing and stands as the ideal basis to enhance the colored vitreous enamels. The new technique offers a different reading of the ideal world of our traditional iconography: rural scenes, fishermen, Moorish and Mediterranean houses. The artist Irene Kowaliska became a fan of Luciano’s new technique, to the point that she gave him a few pictures of her own ceramics for him to use as models.

 

…by Irene Kowaliska

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“From 1940 until 1943, I reproduced her and Giò Ponti’s drawings for D'Agostino, from ’46 to ’50 for Ceramica Musa in Vietri, and from ’55 to ’60 in my own workshop for Miricae, a client of mine in via Frattina in Rome. In the ’60s and ’70s, she was a supervisor for ENAPI [National Body for the Crafts and Small Industries] and she came to see me at my laboratory. She was attracted by my new “in relief” decorative technique, which I developed from my love for stained glass and translated to ceramics using colored transparent glazes; she especially liked the “Casette Mediterranee” [Mediterranean Houses] series, in the Moorish-Arabic style of the Amalfi coast. Once she saw them, she gave me photos of pieces from her own production, with the fairy-tale characters of her Sardinian-Vietri period, for me to reproduce with my new Cloisonné technique. She would later come back, happy to see the results in the new style...”

 

The large view slabs.
After the colored...

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…transparent glazes came the large view slabs. The technique, similar to the previous, is further refined in the drawing and uses matte colors and glazes, which confer the pieces a satin finish. They depict, in limited edition, many Italian monuments, becoming real paintings in which the delicate pastel-toned nuances place them somewhere between artist’s prints and eighteenth-century gouaches, revisited through ceramics.

 

The legacy...

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Luciano Jr., Roberto and Enrico, the sons of “Luciano”, have been long continuing this family tradition, the first taking care of management and other two of the artistic part. Over about twenty years, they have enriched the production with significant innovations and thousands of designs, ranging from simple souvenirs to large slabs. Besides the production of traditional artistic ceramics, they have launched a new brand exclusively addressing the creation of high-quality ceramic tiles, “Ceramiche Tastardi”. Here, the same handicraft processes from the original production are brought into a new sector of ceramics, which thus becomes a natural modern extension of the tradition.