Marcello Aversa’s gallery and workshop is located in one of Sorrento’s typical narrow lanes running off the Corsa Italia just a minute’s walk from the Cathedral. There in small shrine-like windows you will find beautifully intricate clay sculptures similar to the example above. The closer you look the more you discover and begin to appreciate the work involved. This video by kind permission of About Sorrento provides a glimpse of the artist at work in his studio.
These creations in clay are incredible examples of patience and devotion as well as skill and attention to the finest details. It is the ‘Art of Presepio’ which includes village scenes as well as traditional Nativity and other religious themes. They represent moments of religious significance and everyday activity, capturing emotions of those portrayed in settings from centuries past. Stonework, foliage, clothing, household items, food baskets and animals, nothing misses the artist’s eye.
Marcello’s website includes a wonderful collection of images which enable the viewer to ‘get in close’ and discover the intricacies of each work, view here. His work can be seen in Sorrento’s Cathedral and in private and public collections throughout the world.
The Art Studio
Marcello’s association with clay goes back to his family’s work at the brick making furnaces in Maiano, 2.5 km from his studio. Brick making activity in Maiano dates back to the 15th century and the particular characteristics of the red Maiano bricks are renowned throughout Italy. There used to be several furnaces, now only two remain. It is this erosion of long lost skills that makes him so passionate about preserving traditional and encouraging new craft skills in the region. For this purpose he provides space in his gallery to exhibit original works of art from a range of artists and designers. Here is a small selection and more examples can be viewed on Marcello Aversa’s Studio d’Arte facebook page.
Beyond this exhibition space lies another ambition, which is to help establish a permanent indigenous crafts centre in Maiano to preserve and develop traditional skills and inform visitors about the role the furnaces played in ‘building’ communities throughout Italy. A centre built with Maiano bricks and tiles would certainly be a fitting tribute to generations of skilled craftsmen in this region. We wish Marcello every success.
158 Studio is located in the heart of historic Sorrento and brings together a collection of contemporary jewellery from leading Italian designers including Co.Ro.Jewels, Cristina Fava, Francesca Bianchi, Vitti Ferria Contin, Dario Scapitta and many more. Patterns and textures found in natural and man made materials provide the inspiration for many of the pieces on display.
Some of the creations are miniature sculptures and works of art in their own right. Everyday materials are transformed into decorative pieces with colours, shapes, patterns and textures emphasised to create a unique fashion accessory. The latest technology using 3D printed Nylon brings lightness and flexibility to others.
More traditional materials of gold, silver, pearls and gem stones are also used to produce a range of contemporary fashion jewellery suitable for all occasions and moods. There is a wonderful diversity of innovative designs, each one a statement piece reflecting the personality of the person who wears it. What statement would you like to make?
Nicoletta Passarelli will be pleased to show the latest designer collections during your visit to Sorrento. Until then you can view and purchase items on line.
From Daniela Pollio’s studio flows a wealth of creative art jewellery and miniature sculptures. Creations that could easily have fallen out of story book illustrations and dreams, or uncovered from mystical places and long forgotten civilisations. This video by Daniela displays some of her sculptures and you can see wonderful photos of these and art jewellery on her social media pages, links provided below.
Rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, brooches, keyrings and miniatures all seem to have an affiliation with ‘earth’ and ‘people’. Inspiration comes from nature, books and everyday life, including the digital age. Each item lovingly put together and crying out to tell you about itself. Visit the studio, select the piece that captures your imagination and let its story unfold when admirers enquire. Its all part of the experience.
Grimilde & Mufasa
“Grimilde is the Whitesnow’s stepmother, Mufasa is the Simba’s dad. The collection is dedicated to the pleasure of reading. A king and his Queen live in a cottage not a castle, with a lot of flowers with human faces. The crowns are on simple chairs not thrones. All the things go out of the books and materialise.”
You can view Daniela’s collections of art jewellery and miniatures on her Instagram and Facebook pages.
For contact information visit her Website
Visitors to Sorrento will not fail to see examples of the traditional art of wood inlay (intarsia) in all kinds of products, from small souvenir items to intricate pieces of furniture. Examples on a grander scale can be seen on the main entrance and side doors of the Cathedral. These include work done in the 1990’s by local artisans, Guiseppe Rocco and Vincenzo Stinga.
This traditional craftsmanship has passed the test of time and produces stunningly beautiful works of art for modern as well as traditional home interiors. Beyond the souvenir items you will find furniture and decorative accessories that will inspire anyone with a flair for interior design looking for a ‘statement’ piece.
The Gargiulo & Jannuzzi Store on Sorrento’s main square, Piazza Tasso, offers superb examples of inlaid products to satisfy the creative imagination of any interior designer. These include exquisite decorative boxes and larger statement pieces, all blending traditional workmanship with contemporary tastes.
The Jannuzzi Store has a huge selection of products on display and offers customised design and delivery services. An introduction to the techniques used by the craftsmen is also provided. You get an idea of the range available from their website.
There are a number of other workshops to be discovered in Sorrento where local artisans manufacture a wide selection of traditional and contemporary designs, see below.
To see the development and application of wood inlay since the 19th century, visit the Wood Inlay Museum and Craft Shop (Museo Bottega della Tarsia Lignea) in the beautifully restored Palazzo Pomarici Santomasi on Via S. Nicola, which is a 10 minute walk from the centre. Exhibits include furniture and objects with incredibly intricate wood inlay by past masters of the craft together with pieces from contemporary designers.
View this video to see a small selection of wood inlay items together with other historical artefacts on display at the Museum. More information can be found on the museum’s official website.
Stinga Tarsia. View their excellent video showing the making of a classic inlaid box. www
Augusto & Luca. www
Gargiulo Inlaid. www
Biagio Barile. www