We can never get enough of ceramics. From vases to pots, carafes to decorative objects, pottery offers a joyful, often unique way to add character to a space, bringing colours, textures and different shapes into our domestic lives and humble abodes.
Finding a new ceramist we love is almost thrilling – a promise of new, brighter things to fill our home with.
That’s exactly what we felt when we encountered the work of Arianna de Luca. A young, Rome-based creative, the artist is a kiln wunderkind, and one of the most inventive names of contemporary Italian ceramics today.
A glance at her pieces is all you need as proof: vibrant, audacious and quirky, each of de Luca’s creations transforms classic shapes into something fresh, elevating ceramics as a genre while offering a true feast for the eyes.
We asked de Luca a few questions about her craft, and what it means to her. Read on, then add a few of her works to your shopping cart – these are statement items that’ll last you a lifetime.
Tell us about your background. How did you become a ceramist?
Ceramics weren’t really part of my early career. I originally studied product design in Rome and London’s Central Saint Martins, then began working as an interior designer in London. It was only a few years into the job that I turned to ceramics as a way to bring my own touch to the projects I was working on – a vase here, a lamp there. I was drawn by the tactile, material aspect of the craft – it was more fun than spending the day in front of the computer working with interior design software!
Eventually I decided to move back to Abruzzo, where I am from, and spend some time in Castelli [a village famous for its ceramics] to learn from local masters and artisans. It was supposed to be a side project, until the pandemic hit, and I embraced the art full-time.
What was your first collection?
Folcloristica, which is on ISSIMO [alongside other collections]. It’s a four-piece series inspired by the Mediterranean and its villages, with my own take on it.
How do you approach your pieces?
I do a lot of research – visual, historical, photographic. I always try to recreate a mood, an atmosphere, with everything I make. The idea is to tell a story.
And where do you find inspiration?
It’s a mix! Part of it comes from the landscapes, objects and decorations that have accompanied me growing up and that surrounds me. Part of it comes from my travels. I love incorporating the colours and motifs of cultures and places I’ve had the opportunity to explore.
Describe your style in three words.
Fresh, playful and bold. Sunny, too, if I can add a fourth one!
Do you design your items with specific interior spaces in mind?
Not at all. I look at my objects as single entities that can work anywhere. The most important thing for me is that they are able to express something – a feeling, a vibe – to whoever makes them their own.
What do you share with ISSIMO?
So much! The aesthetic, the mood, the curiosity, the mission to celebrate Italian creativity. I am stoked to be selling my wares on this platform.
Where will you be travelling next?
I have nothing confirmed yet, but I’d love to visit the Middle East. As for Italy: Sardinia. Not everyone knows that the island has an incredibly rich history when it comes to ceramics. I’d love to spend some time researching their artisanal heritage.