Complete your table setting with colorful majolica, rustic painted crockery and terracotta clay pottery, in the Tuscan style of things!
Majolica (pronounced "my-o-lica") gained in popularity in the late fifteenth and sixteenth centuries when the Italian nobility amassed great wealth and enjoyed the beautiful colors and intricate patterns of the signature patterns developed by Italian families devoted to the creation of the pottery.
Commonly decorated in brilliant blues, greens, yellows, and oranges these lovely pieces are beautifully and practically used for storage, on the table as dinnerware, and as decorative art.
What makes Majolica unique? How is this colorful pottery created?
Here is the quick explanation. Go to Firenzegifts.com/ItalianCeramics for all of the details:
Shaping of refined clay at a potters wheel, then allowed to dry
Firing After this first firing in the kiln, the terra cotta piece is referred to as "Biscotto", or Bisque.
Glazing After cooling, the ceramic piece is dipped in a powdery white glaze to prevent colors from spreading during painting.
Painting An experienced and talented painter then creates the beautiful Majolica pattern, possibly one that has been passed down through his family for generations.
Final Firing This may take up to 12 hours in the kiln, and then another 12 hours to cool the piece. It is after this 2nd firing that the piece may truly be called Majolica.
Tuscan dinnerware should include Majolica in some form, and these pieces should have the 'honors' at the dining table. If your desire and budget allows for Italian crafted Majolica or other original pieces, that's great.
Those whose budgets may not accommodate original pieces can create a colorful and beautiful Tuscan style dinner table with more economically priced reproductions.
Find a pattern (or patterns) that you love and enhance them with solid complementary colors for the accompanying dinnerware. Remember to keep your overall Tuscan color palette in mind when selecting your Majolica dinnerware.
Read more about Tuscan Colors. Other types of Tuscan style dinnerware include terracotta pottery, which gives more of a rustic feel to the table. Terracotta, meaning earth (terra) that is fired or baked (cotta), has been used for centuries in Tuscany, especially in the Tuscan kitchen, where olive oil and wine have been stored in clay vessels for centuries.
Use your dinnerware for its intended purpose, at the dinner table, but it can also serve other functional and beautiful purposes: