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Visit to the craftsmen workshops in Siena



As many other Tuscan towns, Siena had a very rich and active number of artisans working in several arts, especially in the Middle Age, the golden age of richness and bankers, when Tuscany and the Medici Family governed the center of Italy and kept important commercial relationships with the rest of Europe.

The works of art realized by Senese craftsmen

The economic richness brought nobles to get the best they could from the local artisans who used to work the best materials they had: gold, tissues, pottery, leather and many other things. Along the ages and following the industrial revolution and the progress, these artisans left their shops and their art fell apart. The recent interest of many young entrepreneurs and their will to discover the ancient techniques brought in Siena a new flow or artisans.

Next to the squares, cathedrals and palaces are hidden a lot of workshops, held by young and capable artisans: glass blowing, modeling clay, carve or sculpt gold travertine. Secular habits that shape humble materials, making them true works of art.

One of these arts regards ceramics: Senese ceramics encapsulate an ancient history that has always been linked to the necessity of common use of the kitchen. Nowadays the production involves the entire province of Siena, offers a very wide repertoire that includes all ceramic for all kinds of uses. In Siena, next to a copious production of blue and white tiles, there is the modern pottery from the innovative and creative forms.

The Terracotta tradition

The common thread of clay, coming from Crete Senesi, marks the stages of a journey that links to one another scattered hamlets and it blends all the elements in common architectural and artistic compositions: here the clay is so abundant that every detail of the landscape speaks of an old "terracotta civilization".

Terracotta is the raw material that, more than any other, has driven the history of humanity, leaving countless evidence of its use: findings, user and specimens are preserved in the Musei Senesi, where you can see it's development from primitive of prehistoric artifacts to the clay sculpture and modern products and design, both in synchronic to assess its versatility and the various destinations.

The history of the working of terracotta is so embedded within broader traditional Sienese crafts scene. A territory which tells of ancient pottery transferable as "Madonnini", the legendary eaves of some houses, and figures like the potter who has become the guardian of art and culture of these places.

If you want to visit a very interesting shop or make a workshop, read this post: Il Pellicano, the ancient colors of Siena pottery

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