Activities related to ceramics have taken place in Messina since the Arabic period. For several centuries the production of ceramics was limited to objects for domestic use such as dishes and containers. The village where the most authentic expression of creativity came from was Santo Stefano di Camastra in the province of Messina.
In the eighteenth century the activities became to shift towards the production of the artistic ceramics used to decorate the interiors and exteriors of the aristocratic palaces, typical objects included tall candlesticks, vases, large clay lions and rough terracotta figurines. In addition to the plates painted with flower and fruit patterns in dazzling colors, another historical artifact of high artistic value is the alborello: an elongated cylindrical apothecary jar used to store spices.
Today the ceramics of Santo Stefano are proud of a repertoire that varies in shapes, forms and colors. The vivacity of the colors and the decorative patterns make them easily recognizable establishing a connection between the ceramics and the place they originate from.
Santo Stefano di Camastra is a small town in the province of Messina famous for the artistic majolica and terracotta produced there using traditional patterns and colors such as copper green, honey yellow, red, cobalt blue and white. In Santo Stefano nowadays you can find various workshops along with important bodies for the preservations and promotion of traditional ceramics production methods such as the ceramic art institute and the museum.
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