Fornace Curti, fire and art

Fire has been at work at Fornace Curti for over six centuries.

In the beginning of the 15th century, Giosuè Curti was commissioned to make the tiles and bricks for the Ospedale Maggiore that Bianca Maria Visconti, wife of the Duke of Milan Francesco Sforza, was having built. The refined construction material had been designed by Cristoforo and Guiniforte Solari, the Swiss-Italian architects and sculptors who led the great urban renewal promoted by the Duke – who being originally from San Miniato, in Tuscany, was able to bring Florence’s Renaissance style to Lombardy.

Six hundred years later, Fornace Curti is still open in Milan. It moved four times but never stopped working with fire and clay.

The ‘fornaciai’ (kiln-workers) of Porta Ticinese brought their extremely resistant ‘cotto’ tiles, made with ancient techniques perfected especially for the Po Valley’s clay, to temples of art like the Morimondo Abbey, the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the Chiaravalle Abbey, and the Duomo in Monza.

Art never left the Curtis’ original workshops, which now house about twenty ateliers. Here, craftsmanship and creativity have formed an unbreakable bond, in a forge of beauty that never stops production.

Photos via:

December 16, 2013

Fornace Curti, fire and art

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