A Fish from Seminara

Once upon a time, there was a big big fish from Seminara, he was green and blue. He looked ugly and was too big. The fish was a ceramic art work. He was created as a jar but now, on top he had large lamp shade. First, I did not bother what my mother-in-law had standing on her window sill. You can't argue about taste. But when I heard that it belongs to my husband, I started to not like him - the fish ...

a fish from Seminara

Apparently, CC went to Seminara once I wasn't in Calabria. Seminara, a little village around 7 km from Palmi, is known to "insiders" for its pottery and ceramic art work. When you google the site, you do not find much. Maybe something about a battle in 1495 on wikipedia. If you search further, you might find something more interesting about Seminara's golden age during Renaissance here.

Nowadays, Seminara is known in Calabria for it's interesting unusual and sometimes bizarre pottery. The fish above seems just harmless among some grotesque faces and babbuino masked objects. The scary faces originally were supposed to protect from evil. Similar like it is found in some Turkish and Greek art work. Due to trading around the Mediterranean sea the styles influenced each other. Therefor, you find egg. in Seminara and Sicily these ceramic heads, influenced by Arabic Moors. And I guess, that's why it's possible that Seminara craft men might have influenced Picasso (France) and Dali (Spain).

Calabrian jar from 19th century with bubbuino mask via Christie's  (!)

Interesting are also the jars that are imitating by the look of sea urchins (ricci) and artichokes (carciofi).

Seminara jars via flickr

artist Paolo Candurso in his shop via flickr - in the back ceramic heads, even more popular in Sicily

market day in Seminara with its typical ceramics

Seminara jars and vases in form of artichokes, urchins - and more fishes

When we finally moved into our house, I realised that the lamp - the one with the big ugly fish from Seminara - would actually look not bad on the chest of drawers in the living room. The next day it was delivered... and - surprise - the fish was not too big anymore in our big living room! It looks even rather small! And with the sea under the windows, the fish suits very well. It even does not look ugly anymore. It is a piece of art!

Seminara fish jar modified into lamp stand

The not so big and not so ugly fish found its place into a house at the sea.
A perfect match.

Another more detailed source about ceramics from Seminara is cultura italia in italian language.

From what I know, two of the most successful artists in Seminara are Paolo Candurso and Domenico Ditto.

If you have more information about Seminara's pottery and its artist, please leave a comment.