Down a narrow, cobbled street in Tuscany a longtime dream came true. Just like Demi Moore in the movie Ghost, I worked my magic on a pottery wheel. Okay, maybe it was nothing like her steamy iconic scene, there was not an imaginary spirit sitting behind me tenderly guiding my hands. But, there was Gulio, an Italian master potter. He will do just fine.
Gulio Lucarini is one of the skilled ceramists behind Terrabruga Ceramics and I was invited to their tiny laboratory which is located in the quaint town of Cortona in Northern Italy.
Initially, my visit was meant to simply be a lesson on how to work with a flat piece of clay and utensils well enough to create a decorative tile. Which I did. And it was fun.
But, the potters wheel sat discreetly in the corner the entire time, taunting me.
I am in Tuscany, at a professional pottery studio with a ceramic expert. Could I possibly leave without getting a potter’s wheel education from a master? The answer is absolutely, positively unequivocally no. So, when Gulio inquired if anyone wanted to give vase-making a shot, I was in the pottery wheel chair in a half of a millisecond. Gratefully, he asked first instead of me embarrassingly having to beg, which I would have.
Overly anxious, I pushed on the pedal with my foot and the apparatus started to rapidly spin. Gulio waved his hands, an indication for me to stop immediately. He hurried over and set the pedal to a safer speed, more appropriate for an inexperienced beginner.
The rest of the lesson was entirely in Italian. May I remind you that I do not speak Italian. But, through hand gestures and scattered comprehension of the foreign language, Gulio guided me to create a masterpiece.
Or rather, a perfectly imperfect vase.
Sometimes bucket list experiences require you to get your hands dirty and this one was completely worth it.
After the lesson we went to visit his nearby showroom, Terrabruga Ceramics, to see how a finished piece is really suppose to look.
My slightly lopsided vase could not quite compare to the craftsmanship seen here.
Gulio specializes in green and yellow painted ceramics from the mid-evil times, though the creative twist of adding sunflowers to the pieces was introduced in the 1900s. Each one was unique and beautiful. But, as perfect as they all were, I much preferred the rudimentary one that was made with my own two hands.
Disclosure: I was a guest of Play Your Tuscany, but all the words I write come straight from my, sometimes distorted, mind. Just as it should be.
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