In Tarquinia, the Etruscan art of ceramics is alive and well
Once upon a time, there was Etruscan ceramic art. And luckily, there still is. It lives in Tarquinia, in the province of Viterbo, and is doing great thanks to the work and passion of two artists and craftsmen: Giuseppe Buzzi and his friend and collaborator Francesco Giannoni.
Giuseppe Buzzi – who sadly passed away recently – was a fine vase maker in Tarquinia; a few years ago, he decided to renovate a space in the city center of the Etruscan-origin town in Lazio, and make it a workshop.
In that small shop, Buzzi sat at the lathe and made cups, chalices and other objects in bucchero or terracotta, according to a specific technique known as “rocchetto”, which entails using a wooden or terracotta cylinder, etched with the negative of various figurative patterns.
Zoomorphic, anthropomorphic and geometric decorations – inspired by those created by artists in “Tarchuna” in the 7th and 6th centuries BC – are impressed into clay, which is then placed in the oven for a few hours, with dry wood, at a temperature of 700 degrees.
The secrets of this craft are now in the hands of Francesco Giannoni, who continues to work with his friend Buzzi’s same methods, using the same ancient clay the Etruscans walked over.
Welcome to this beautiful workshop of art.