Today, the Sicilian decorative ceramics sector includes 300 businesses employing more than a thousand workers. There is a particularly high concentration of producers lining the streets of Caltagirone and St. Stefano di Camastra, (in the provinces of Catania and Messina respectively).
However, even in the streets of the other cities, it is easy to spot the many ceramics shops, each displaying their traditional works - plates, majolica jars, vases, tiles, candle holders, lava stone tables covered in majolica tiles etc.
In the last ten years, the sector has put a great deal of effort into developing the versatility and range of applications of their decorative ceramics, creating new uses and pushing their products beyond the traditional boundaries. It has been an ever- growing source of inspiration to the business and marketing world.
Sicilian ceramics and all those who make such a large contribution to the art of workmanship, have shown immense skill in reinventing the meaning of decoration and good taste.
They have enriched the basket of products which Sicily now offers with hugely creative and stylish ideas, confirming our top level innovative skills and maturity in the world of design.
Tradition meets luxury
Today, it is normal practice to involve designers and architects in the development and creation of high quality products. This ensures that the whole sector is given a touch of glamour and the combination of research and style lends absolute elegance to the products.
It is a commonly shared belief amongst designers that clay is wonderfully versatile and almost any idea can be realized in this material - contemporary works of art, industrially produced designer objects, even ancient Aztec statuettes and beautifully hand-painted vases.
Any piece of ceramic work is the result of thousands of years of history. It was one of the first materials used by man and some of the earliest archaeological finds are of rough pot statuettes. It is a material with which we feel perfectly at ease. We use it every day, we have grown up with it. It is pleasant to the touch and gives us a sense of security.