Growing up in the Italian town of Faenza, Giuseppe Lama was surrounded by the hand-painted pottery that makes it famous.
“There are hundreds of little mom-and-pop ceramic shops, and they make this amazing pottery by hand day in and day out,” said Lama, who is the Managing Director of The Resort at Pelican Hill®.
Lama, who has brought a custom-designed line of these world-renowned ceramics to the Resort and made it available for guests and visitors to purchase, said the simple pieces carry his history—and that of Italy.
“I was surrounded by it,” he said. “If you go to my mom’s house, hanging on the wall are plates that have probably been in the family for several hundred years. We have several vases that belonged to my great, great grandmother. They carry our stories.”
The Resort carries a special, ancient Faenza pattern, called the Pavona, meaning peacock in Italian, which includes mainly ceramic pieces focused on food. Although most Faenza patterns feature a warm color palette, the Pavona includes a cool aqua.
“We included a color that is different from other Faenza in that it fits the coastal setting of the Resort. It’s an artistic interpretation that’s unique to us,” he said.
Decorated with the feathery design, products range from plates and cappuccino mugs to salt and pepper shakers to olive oil cruets and wine carafes. They also offer decorative accessories, such as vases, ring trays and pen holders. All are handmade and painted in the same tradition that dates back hundreds of years.
The town of Faenza, located near Bologna in the northeastern part of Italy, is arguably the capital of ceramics in that country, and the tradition dates back to the late 14th century. Two distinct features make the Faenza earthenware unique: The plentiful clay found in the surrounding hills and the colors and motifs used in the glazes. Today, the town also has an international museum of pottery and a university where students come to learn the craft.
Lea Emiliani and two artisan women paint each piece of pottery by hand, which gives the Pavona line authenticity and continuity, Lama said.
“We wanted artisans who had history in the town, and we could rely on the integrity of the design and features,” he said. “You need to have the same stroke, depth and touch.”
Lama said importing the Faenza ceramics and selling a custom line was a natural fit for the Resort, which is modeled after a Tuscan village and inspired by the 16th-century architect, Andrea Palladio, known for his elegant proportions and clean lines.
“There’s a relationship between Palladio and our ceramics in that they were all born during the Renaissance. They are really in concert with each other. Look at the beauty of our buildings and the beauty of our ceramics. They are in complete concert,” Lama said.
Resort guests and visitors can purchase pieces of the ceramics line at the Resort’s Newsstand & Gift, Caffè or online at ShopPelicanHill.com.