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Clash of the ceramics

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Several weeks ago, I wrote about my plans to begin collecting Italian ceramics. I'll be in Umbria next month and I'd like to begin shopping for some ceramic pieces. Since they're expensive, I realize I'll be buying just a few pieces at a time. Perhaps cereal bowls or small plates to start, since I'd use these very day. And that's the whole point of the exercise -- to have beautiful things in my home that will remind me of wonderful trips and to help me feel connected to Italy.

But, which pattern to choose? I had found a few that I liked very much from the Ceramiche Rampini shop in Florence. I'll be in Florence for the last few days of my trip before I fly home from there. So it could be a VERY good opportunity to shop. However, I've done some other research into different patterns and would love to get some other opinions on these.

But first, here is one of my favourite patterns from Ceramiche Rampini in Florence: (Number one, limone) It was shown at the top of this post, along with a new pattern, Fenice, which is from another ceramics outlet. The pattern is more understated, with an elegance that kind of intrigues (more on that later!)

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In an unscientific vote on my previous blog posting, Limone and the following, Queen Lemons (also from Ceramiche Rampini) were most popular and I must admit, I love the strong colours of yellow and blue in both of these.

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But there are a few other patterns I've seen more recently on the Internet that also look pretty good. Of course, I won't really know until I can actually look at pieces in person. Still, if I don't do some research before I arrive in Italy -- including adjusting to the prices for good ceramics -- there is a risk that I won't be able to see the big picture when I'm in the shops. sometimes I panic when it comes time to pay for expensive things and there's a real danger that I'll run away with nothing, unless I have some definite ideas when I begin this venture!

Some of these other patterns seem a bit subdued, after the bold colours from Rampini. And I'm sorry, the pictures don't reproduce really well. These (including one of the patterns which I showed at the top of this post) are from an American company, Deruta collezioni, which seems to have its main showroom in Atlanta.

According to its website, its "original Majolica products are hand-made and hand painted by master artisans from the cities of Deruta. Our products results from a splendid heritage of dedication and artistic tradition, passed down "from father to son" by ancient artisan families." (Don't blame me for the grammar)

And although I have no intention of buying from an American company when I'm headed directly for Italy, I do like some of their patterns and that's good for research.

Any opinions on the following patterns, on their own and in comparison with the earlier pattern of Limone?

1. Their version of Limone, at just under $1,500 for 20 pieces. Gulp.

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2. Perugino, which has some lovely colours.

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3.Penne Deruta.

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4.Fenice.

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Comments (12)

$1500??!!! WOW, that is an airfare (or almost for me). The pattern is beautiful though. I guess it just depends on priorities. I also like the next one (Perugino). The third one (Penne Deruta) for some reason reminds me of Native American art. The fourth one is pretty but doesn't make me think of Italy. My favorite though is the Queen Lemons plate, although I was not aware it was an American brand.

VickyP:

1. Queen Lemons
2. Perugino
3. Penne Deruta

I like Queen Lemons for its simplicity (was that the one I chose before?) but Perugino has a happiness and intricacy that I like. Penne Deruta's sunburst design is nice but I prefer the predominant yellows in the other two.

Happy shopping!

I'm not much help since I think they are all so beautiful! I'm very intrigued by the Fenice one too and would love to see it in person. The others look more traditionally Italian to me and of them, I really like Penne Deruta's colors.

I love the lemons too and can't decide which one I like best.

There's a store here in NC that sells Vietri Italian ceramics, so expensive but so beautiful. The one on this page called "Umbria Deluta" looks very similar to "Peregino."

http://www.southernseason.com/ppf/id/1621/vietri_segment.asp

I can't remember which one I chose before but I'm partial to the ones with a lemon motif. The Perugino is a classic Deruta pattern and very beautiful. The Penne Deruta has an interesting pattern but I'm not fond of teal. The Fenice is very elegant but is it suitable for everyday use?

Anne:

Oh the Perugino looks very similar to my recent ceramic purchases (although I doubt mine are handmade, even if they are stamped Made in Deruta!) So obviously I give that one thumbs up! I think I like the Limone best though...I think it's what I picked the last time too.

Brad'll Do It:

I think a key question is how do you intend to use what you purchase? If you wind up buying plates and bowls and intend to use them every day, I think you'll like a simpler pattern because you'll be looking at it a LOT. If this is for special occasions, then something more formal or intense may be more suitable.

Then there's the emotional factor. The name "Perugino" would remind you of that city that is, for you, Sandra, beloved.

sandrac:

Girasoli, Queen Lemons is actually from Ceramiche Rampini in Florence, along with Limone. The badly reproduced photos are from the American company. I guess I wasn't clear in my post! And the prices are pretty steep for a 20-piece set, I'll definitely be collecting a few pieces at a time!

Vicky, I agree, I'm really drawn to the lemon colours, although I like your description of Perugino conveying happiness! It is lovely.

Thanks Annie, for the link to Southern Seasons. They have some really lovely patterns and Umbria Deruta is lovely. This will be good for my research (altho I'm learning that I'm really drawn to lemons!!)

Maria, I agree -- Fenice is nice, but it's very formal and not what I had in mind for my morning cereal bowl (altho I admire the pattern.) Perugino is really classic, isn't it? If only it had a few lemons.....

Anne, you really lucked out with your finds, I remain very envious!

You're so right, Brad, since I do love Perugia, maybe I should buy my ceramics there to remind me of the place! (Since I'll likely forget the name of the pattern right after I get the ceramics home!) And you make an excellent point -- I am looking for pieces that I'll use all the time (rather than hiding them away in a safe place which I too often do with things I love!) So I had better think carefully of what I want my breakfast plate to look like each morning after the toast has disappeared!

Kathy (Trekcapri):

Hi Sandra, these are so beautiful. My favorite in your first post was the Limone pattern. I just love the soft and strong colors.

I also like the Perugino too for the same reasons. And the pattern is very pretty.

My other favorite is the Fenice. Beautiful design.

Of the three, I think I can visualize myself eating my everyday meals more with the first pattern.

But I have to say that they are all very beautiful.

Kim:

I'm a Queen Lemons fan myself. :)

sandrac:

Everything is coming up lemons!

Kathy, Kim -- it's interesting how we're drawn to lemons. It must remind us of Italy! And Kathy, there is something about the lemons patterns that make them seem like something I'd be comfortable with every day. Fenice is lovely to look at, but I don't know if it feels very friendly.

Chiocciola:

I have said it before and I will say it again: Queen Lemons all the way!!

One factor that led me to my choice is I wanted my dishes to be different than all the more "typical patterns" I saw everywhere. I wanted bright, sunny and cheerful, and of course something that said, "Italy" to me.

I think you will "know it when you see it".

Of course I love Queen Anne Lemons enough to have bought a set! That Perugino is also gorgeous!

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