June 4-16, 2012

Hosted by
Potters Council at La Meridiana


Italian Inspiration and Italian Techniques
Travel has always provided a source of inspiration for visual artists. Seeing new things even if they are antiquities can make your mind race with new ideas.The itinerary for this trip is designed to provide visual stimulation as a valuable teaching and learning tool for those interested in ceramics. This visual inspiration will be drawn upon when we reach the ceramic studio at La Meridiana, where you’ll enjoy three days in the studio learning from Pietro Maddalena, Paola Paronetto, and Marcia Selsor. You will also have the opportunities to see demonstrations outside of the studio from Monica Lazzerini and Saura Vignoli.


Mark Your Calendar and Register Today!


La Meridiana

La Meridiana



Open to Artists Around-the-World

Featured Presenters:
Pietro Maddalena
and Paola Paronetto

Additional Demonstrations by
Marcia Selsor and Saura Vignoli

To be added to the wait list please call
614-794-5872 or 866-721-3324
(7am – 4:30pm Eastern | Mon-Fri)



register now




Note: This trip is not handicap accessible, and attendees need to be able to walk long distances at a quick pace.


Daily Schedule for Potter | Daily Schedule for Non-Potter | Presenters | Host Facility
Additional Travel Information | Registration Information






Pietro Elia Maddalena and Paola Paronetto will provide a two-day hands-on soft raku workshop. Pietro will also do a throwing demonstration. Marcia Selsor will be one of the guides, and will also do one half-day demonstration in architectural handbuilding techniques. Attendees will also see demonstrations of traditional and contemporary maiolica by Italian artists Monica Lazzerini and Saura Vignoli. This once in a lifetime workshop exploring ceramic techniques is not to be missed. 

Potter Schedule

Non-Potter Schedule


 daily schedule


Sunday, June 3, 2012
Travel Day | Dependent on Location of Departure

Monday, June 4, 2012
Florence | Arrival

Attendees should plan to arrive at the Florence airport mid morning to early afternoon on Monday, June 4, 2012.

After arrival at the airport, attendees will need to get to the hotel, Mia Cara. Attendees can take a bus (estimated 5 Euros) from the airport to the Florence Train Station: Santa Maria Nouvella. The hotel is a 6 minute walk from the train station, or take a taxi from the airport to the hotel (estimated 39 Euros).

If you arrive before check in, your luggage can be left at the hotel until you can check in.

Hotel Mia Cara
Via Faenza 90
50100 Firenze (FI) Italy
Tel. +39 055 216053
Website: www.miacarahotel.com




Schedule for Monday:

Arrival to 6pm | Free time to explore the area

Below are some suggestions of places to visit during your free time.

  • Ponte Vecchio – Ponte Vecchio, the oldest of Florence’s six bridges, is one of the city’s best known images. Probably going back to Roman times with its stone pillars and wooden planks.

  • Cathedral – A distinctive feature of Florence’s skyline is the dome of the cathedral (Duomo), Santa Maria del Fiore. The building itself, located due north of the Piazza della Signoria, was begun by the sculptor Arnolfo di Cambio in 1296.

6-7pm | Welcome by Claudia from La Meridiana and Carolyn from Potters Council


7:30pm | Dinner (included) A typical Italian dinner with first course and second course along with water and wine.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012
Bargello Museum and Free Time in Florence
Everyone will be ready to begin exploring after a restful evening. The day will begin with breakfast provided by the hotel and then off to the Bargello Museum. After viewing the museum you will have free time to explore Florence.


Schedule for Tuesday:
8am | Breakfast at Hotel (included)


9:15am | Museum: Bargello

  • Bargello- The Bargello finally became a sculpture museum in 1886, the year in which the fifth centenary of Donatello’s birth was celebrated. Two years later, the museum received a generous gift of Gothic and Renaissance artifacts from the French antiquarian, Louis Carrand, followed, in 1894, by a donation made by Costantino Ressman, ambassador and collector of weapons. In 1907, Giulio Franchetti donated his collection of fabrics with examples dating from the 6th to 18th centuries.

    On display in the Michelangelo Room are works by that great Renaissance artist: the so-called Drunken Bacchus, sculpted in Rome between 1497 and 1499; the marble tondo with the Madonna and Child and the Child St John, carried out in 1504 for Bartolomeo Pitti; the David-Apollo, marble statue, begun in 1531; the Brutus, marble bust carried out around 1540; as well as the Bacchus, marble statue, sculpted by Jacopo Sansovino around 1520, the bronze bust of Cosimo I by Benvenuto Cellini; also on display another outstanding example of 16th-century sculpture, Giambologna’s splendid Mercury, a bronze from 1564. On display in the cabinet are a number of beautiful bronze animals made by the same artist around 1567 for the Medici villa in Castello.

    In 1886, the huge room that was the former Great Council Chamber was used to display the works of Donatello and of other Florentine Renaissance sculptors: among the works of the maestro were the David, a beautiful bronze carried out for Cosimo the Elder around 1430; a marble David, considered one of his early works; the Marzocco, the symbol of the city of Florence; the bust of a Youth and the bust of Niccolò da Uzzano.

    Also on display in this room are two panels depicting the Sacrifice of Isaac made by Lorenzo Ghiberti and Filippo Brunelleschi for the competition for the second bronze door of the Baptistery. The Bargello’s majolica collection owes much to the Medici’s passion for collecting, in particular that of Cosimo I, who particularly appreciated the art of ceramics and porcelain-making.

    Thanks to many gifts, also by modern collectors, the room offers a practically complete panorama of the history of Italian majolica: extremely rare 15th-century pieces from the Cafaggiolo and Deruta workshops, and, from the 16th century, important examples of Urbino and Faenza majolica, as well as splendid examples of Venice majolica also covering the following century.

    Two whole rooms are dedicated to the glazed terracotta works by Giovanni and Andrea della Robbia, among which we should mention the Nativity, belonging to Giovanni’s mature period, the Noli me tangere, made by Giovan Francesco Rustici and glazed by Giovanni and, among Andrea’s works, a bust-portrait of a youth, possibly Pietro di Lorenzo de’ Medici.

    Since 1873, the Verrocchio Room has housed Tuscan works from the second half of the Quattrocento; the best represented artist is obviously Andrea Verrocchio, who gave his name to the room. Dominating the centre of the room is his famous bronze David commissioned by the Medici family.

Afternoon and Evening | Lunch and Dinner: (not included)

  • Attendees will be provided a list of local restaurants at different price points. Have a relaxing evening enjoying Italian Cuisine.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Uffizi Museum and Free Time in Florence
The Uffizi Gallery is one of the world’s top art museums – it houses some of the most important works of the Renaissance, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto, Botticelli and Michelangelo. Lots of sculptures too.


Schedule for Wednesday:

8am | Breakfast at Hotel (included)


9am | Museum: Uffizi

  • Walk from Hotel to Uffizi
  • Guided tour with headphones


  • Uffizi – The Uffizi is the most important and visited museum in Florence. The Uffizi palace was designed and begun in 1560 by the architect Giorgio Vasari in the period when Cosimo de’ Medici, first Grand Duke of Tuscany, was bureaucratically consolidating his recent takeover of power. Built in the shape of a horseshoe extending from Piazza della Signoria to the Arno River and linked by a bridge over the street with Palazzo Vecchio, the Uffizi were intended to house the administrative offices (uffizi) of the Grand Duchy. From the beginning, however, the Medici set aside a few rooms on the third floor to house the finest works of their collections. The Gallery was subsequently enriched by various members of the Medici family. Two centuries later, in 1737, the palace and their collection were left to the city by Anna Maria Luisa, the last Medici heir, and today houses one of the world’s great art galleries.

    In its 45 rooms, the Uffizi houses not only the best of Florentine paintings from the 14th and 15th centuries, but masterpieces from other parts of Italy as well as four centuries’ worth of works from leading artists in Germany, Spain and Holland. Apart from paintings, the Uffizi exhibits ancient Roman and 16th century sculpture in its frescoed corridors.

Afternoon and Evening | Lunch and Dinner: (not included)

  • Attendees will be provided a list of local restaurants at different price points. Have a relaxing evening enjoying Italian Cuisine.

Thursday, June 7, 2012
Leave for Faenza

We will be heading to Faenza for a three night stay with side trip to Ravenna. We will only be taking our small bag with us to keep travel light. La Meridiana will be picking up our large suitcase and taking it to La Meridiana. Attendees will need to be packed and ready for early travel. Note only one large suitcase will be accepted for transfer to La Meridiana based on size of group. Keep luggage to one carry-on/back pack and one medium/large suitcase.

About Faenza

In the history of ceramics, the tin glaze ware from Faenza that was exported to France and the rest of Europe in the 16th century, took on the name from its place of origin. Faenza ware became known as Faience. Tin glaze, previously known as Majolica or the Italian name Maiolica gained its name from being traded through the port of Majorca. At the time, 13th to 15th centuries, it was illegal to trade directly with Moorish Spain, the producers of tin glazed ware and the more decorative tin glazed Lusterware.


During the Renaissance in the cities of Deruta, Gubbia and Faenza as well as other cities, the decorative painting on tin glaze reached new heights. In the International Museum of Ceramics the collection holds some true treasures of Italian Renaissance Tin Glaze. According to the curator at the Ashmolean Museum in Cambridge, during the Victorian era, Renaissance decorated Faience sold at auction for higher prices than Tintoretto paintings.


Today there are traditional workshops as well as contemporary ceramic artists working in the city. We’ll visit several studios representing both venues and the museum/home/studio of the late Carlo Zauli.



Schedule for Thursday:


7:45am | Claudia from La Meridiana will be picking up our large suitcases


8am | Breakfast at Hotel (included)


9:40am | Train to Faenza | Arrives 11:27 (Travel Time: 1hr 47 min)


11:30am | Walk to Hotel and either Check-In or drop bag

Hotel Vittoria
Corso Garibaldi n. 23
48018 Faenza (RA) Italia
Tel. +39 0546 21508
website: www.hotel-vittoria.com/english/index.html


Hotel Vittoria is in an ancient palace in the old town of Faenza, very near Piazza del Popolo, its central square. It is also near its more important museums, the MIC, International Museum of Ceramics, in which the most beautiful and complete collection of ceramics in the world has been arranged and the Museum Zauli, named after the most famous ceramics artist of Faenza.


Lunch | On Your Own (not included)

| Museum: Carlo Zauli House (included)

  • Read more about Carlo Zauli
    The museum offers an anthological itinerary of the works of Zauli, one of the most important ceramic sculptors of the twentieth-century, from the early 50’s to the 90’s. A visit to the Carlo Zauli Museum gives the visitor a chance of getting to know Faenza and to journey through the history of ceramics.

    The artist Carlo Zauli has been internationally famous ever since the end of the 50’s and his works can be found in thirty six museums around the world. The museum was set up inside the workshop where Zauli produced his works and which was, in the second half of the twentieth century, an attraction for other leading artists. The museum reveals to the visitor the studies of the artist who, from being a potter, became a sculptor without ever neglecting his origins. The itinerary is enriched with a visit to the rooms of the study-workshop: from the clay basement to the enamel room, from the oven room to the relief room, where the earth mounds turned into sculpture.

Local Artist Studio Tour
| After visiting the Carlo Zauli House the group will be divided in half, and will take a walking tour of local artist studios.

8pm | Dinner (included) at Sghisa



Day Trip to Ravenna

About Ravenna
Ravenna was the 5th century Capital of the Western Roman Empire. Later in the 5th century and the 6th century Ravenna boasted of preserving the best examples of Early Christian and Byzantine Art in all of Italy. It was declared a Patrimony of Humanity by the UNESCO World Heritage List. There are workshops in mosaic restoration as well as contemporary mosaics displayed throughout the city. We will do a walking tour to the city sites including San Vitale, the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, Apollinaire Nuovo, the Baptistry, and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant.

San Vitale: the Empress Justinian in rich glass mosaics (6th century) are as vivid today as they were 1400 years ago.

Over time numerous writers, artists, composers and poets have been inspired by the beauty in this historic city. Boccaccio, Dante, Herman Hesse, Cole Porter, Gustav Klimt, Lord Byran have all created pieces in response to witnessing these works of art.

Most people visit the central Italian city of Ravenna for its superb Byzantine mosaics – and rightly so, for they are the finest outside Istanbul. A thriving seaport in ancient times (it now lies five miles inland), Ravenna rose to power in the 1st century BC under the Emperor Augustus. The Roman emperor built a port and naval base at nearby Classe, which is currently undergoing archaeological excavation. The town converted to Christianity very early, in the 2nd century AD. As Rome’s power declined, Ravenna took over as capital of the Western Empire (402 AD). The following century it came under the rule of Thedoric and the Arian Ostrogoths, and in 540 the city became part of the Byzantine empire under Justinian. Ravenna’s exquisite early Christian mosaics span the years of Roman, Ostrogothic and Byzantine rule. Today, Ravenna is a very pleasant town of about 140,000. It looks much like any other Italian city at first glance, with old streets, fine shops and peaceful squares, but the Byzantine domes of its churches still evoke its Eastern heritage. Ravenna’s early Christian churches and mosaics have been collectively designated a World Heritage Site. As an extra bonus, Ravenna is a great place to taste the famously delicious food of the Emilia-Romagna region.

Schedule for Saturday:

6:30am | Breakfast at Hotel (included)

  • Walk from Hotel to Train Station is 12 minutes.

7:52am |Train for Ravenna | Arrives 8:25 (Travel time: 33 minutes)

9:30am | Day Trip City Pass for Ravenna

  • Includes the following: Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, Battistero Neoniano, Battistero degli Ariani, Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Cappella Arcivescovile o di Sant’Andrea, and Basilica di San Vitale. Monuments are open from 9am-4:30pm.

  • Galla Placidia (386-452) , Onorio’s sister, the Roman emperor that moved the capital of the western roman empire in 402 from Milan To Ravenna, had this small mausoleum built around 435-450, a building still today famous for it’s mosaics. The outside of the building is very simple, in contrast to the wealth of the mosaic decoration on the inside, the oldest in Ravenna. The mosaics line the walls of the “colte”, the lunettes and the dome. The iconographic themes developed in the decorations represent the victory of life over death, in agreement with the funeral destination of the building. Read more…

  • The Neonian Bapistery (Battistero Neoniano, also known as the Battistero Ortodosso or Orthodox Baptistery) is an octagonal baptistery built in the 5th century. It is the oldest monument in Ravenna and contains some of the city’s most beautiful Byzantine mosaics. Read more…

  • The Arian Baptistery (Battistero degli Ariani) stands in a small square next to the old Arian cathedral of Santo Spirito in Ravenna, Italy. It was built by the Ostrogothic ruler Theodoric at the end of the 5th century. Nothing remains of the decorations that once covered the walls, but the dome still contains a beautifully restored mosaic depicting the baptism of Christ and the Twelve Apostles. The Arian version of the mosaic is simpler, with only one concentric circle instead of two and slightly more primitive-looking figures.Read more…


  • The Basilica di Sant’Apollinare Nuovo is a 6th-century church in eastern Ravenna. Named for Ravenna’s first bishop, it is famed for its two side walls full of figurative mosaics dating from c.500 (under the Arian king Theodoric) and c.560 (under Catholic administration). Read more…

  • Cappella Arcivescovile o di Sant’Andrea: Built as a private oratory during the reign of Theodoric, king of the Ostrogoths, by Bishop Peter II, the chapel has a cross-shape and completely covered with marble vestibule at the bottom and mosaic decoration at the top. The Chapel is the only Orthodox monument built during the reign of Theodoric, when the cult was dominant. The iconography of the mosaics are of great interest: the glorification of Christ, whose presence dominates every part of the mosaic decoration, can be construed as anti-Aryan, and in particular the representations of the martyrs are a clear affirmation of orthodoxy.

  • The Basilica di San Vitale in Ravenna dates from the mid-6th century and contains what are probably the finest Byzantine mosaics in the western world. San Vitale is a small domed church in the Byzantine architectural style. It has an octagonal plan, with a two-story ambulatory enclosing a central space beneath a great cupola. Attached at an angle to the west side is an entrance porch or narthex while a small choir and apse extends to the east. The great cupola is decorated with uninteresting 18th-century murals, but the remainder of the interior is fully Byzantine and provides an authentic atmosphere of antiquity. And most famously, the ceilings of the choir and apse glitter with magnificent Byzantine mosaics in green and gold. Read more…

12 pm | Lunch (not included)

1 pm | Continue with the Ravenna day pass


5:42 pm | Train for Faenza | Arrives 6:16 (Travel time: 33 minutes)


7 pm | Dinner On Your Own (not included)

On Your Own | For those interested in exploring Faenza there will be the trial runs of a traditional horse race that dates back to the middle ages. To learn more about this visit: www.paliodifaenza.it/niballo-palio-di-faenza/prove-niballo.php.

Saturday, June 9, 2012 – CHANGE TO ORIGINAL SCHEDULE

Free time in Faenza and International Ceramic Museum

8am | Breakfast at Hotel (included)

  • Free time, Street market in Faenza
  • We recommend that you research and plan what you would like to see. We also recommend that you purchase a map of the city so you can get around on your own.   

Lunch | On Your Own (not included)

2pm | Museum | International Ceramic Museum with Guide

  • The International Museum of Ceramicsin Faenza represents the greatest collection of ceramics in the world. The culture of ceramics from all over the world is shown in a display spanning centuries. In addition to the wide range of Italian and European ceramics dating from the Renaissance to the present day, visitors can also enjoy the collections of pre-Columbian American and Asian material. Contemporary Italian and International art by the most important artists of the 20th century is also represented.

    Currently over 3,500 works are displayed on a permanent basis in 9,000 square metres of exhibition space. Read more…

7 pm | Dinner On Your Own (not included)

On Your Own | For those interested in exploring Faenza there will be an event with music and costumes in the main square, starting at 8:30 pm. To learn more, visit: www.paliodifaenza.it/torneo-delle-bandiere/bandiere.php.


Sunday, June 10, 2012
Faenza to Certaldo | Potter Schedule


8 am | Breakfast at Hotel (included)


9 am | Potters: Contemporary Maiolica demonstration

  • Sorelle Vignoli: will provide a Maiolica demonstration on Mediterranean decoration patterns. To learn more about Sorelle Vignoli, visit: www.ceramichevignoli.com.

Lunch | Included

2:30 pm | Leave by bus to Certaldo


6:30 pm | Arrive at La Meridiana

  • Distribution of Rooms

8 pm | Dinner at Wilma’s (included)

Monday, June 11, 2012
La Meridiana | Potter Schedule

8 am | Breakfast provided by La Meridiana in the school lobby

9 am | Instructors Pietro Maddalena and Paola Paronetto  | Soft Raku

  • Soft raku is a particular kind of raku originally developed by the Italian ceramic artist Giovanni Cimatti. It is based on two specific techniques of making and firing, that may be considered the perfect fusion of two ancient Mediterranean techniques.
  • Shaping simple forms using slab techniques and plaster molds. These shapes will be used for testing various terra sigillata coatings.

12:30 am | Lunch provided by La Meridiana


2 pm | Shopping for food at the local market


4-7 pm | Instructors Pietro Maddalena and Paola Paronetto  | Soft Raku

  • Continue with workshop. Burnishing and drying pieces, application of terra sigillato. All pieces must be finished by 7pm. Kiln will be loaded, to be bisque fired early the next morning.

Dinner | Dinner on Own | Attendees will have access to kitchen

Tuesday, June 12, 2012
La Meridiana | Potter Schedule

5 am | Begin firing

8 am
| Breakfast on Own | Attendees will have access to kitchen


9 am – 10:30 am | Instructors Pietro Maddalena and Paola Paronetto  | Soft Raku

  • Technical notes about history and theory of terra sigillata and of the soft raku process.

11 am | Instructor Pietro Maddalena | Throwing Demonstration

  • Pietro’s throwing demonstration will cover forms, on both small and larger scale, and the ways the thrown form may be modified by turning, faceting, fluting, and deformation. There will be an insight into specifically Mediterranean ways of using the wheel, plus a demonstration with some simple and very efficient tools. To learn more about Pietro Maddalena, visit: www.pietro.net


12:30 pm | Lunch provided by La Meridiana


3-7 pm | Instructors Pietro Maddalena and Paola Paronetto  | Soft Raku

  • Raku firing, unload kilns and final discussion

7:30 pm | Dinner | Included Pizza Party at La Meridiana

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
La Meridiana | Potter Schedule

8 am | Breakfast on Own | Attendees will have access to kitchen


9 am | Leave for Siena

  • Siena is probably Italy’s loveliest medieval city, and a trip worth making even if you are in Florence and Tuscany for just a few days . Siena’s heart is its central piazza known as Il Campo and world-reknown for its famous Palio, a festival and horse race that takes place on the piazza itself two times each summer.

    Siena is said to have been founded by Senius, son of Remus, one of the two legendary founders of Rome thus Siena’s emblem is the she-wolf who suckled Remus and Romulus – you’ll find many statues throughout the city. The city sits over three hills with its heart the huge piazza known as Il Campo, where the Roman forum used to be. Rebuilt during the rule of the Council of Nine, a quasi-democratic group from 1287 to 1355, the nine sections of the fan-like brick pavement represent the council and symbolizes the Madonna’s cloak which sheltered Siena.

    The Campo is dominated by the red Palazzo Pubblico and its tower, Torre del Mangia. Along with the Duomo, the Palazzo Pubblico was also built during the same period of rule by the Council of Nine. The civic palace, built between 1297 and 1310, still houses the city’s municipal offices much like Palazzo Vecchio in Florence. Its internal courtyard has entrances to the Torre del Mangia and to the Civic Museum. If you feel energetic, a climb up the over 500 steps will reward you with a wonderful view of Siena and its surroundings. The Museum, on the other hand, offers some of the greatest of Sienese paintings. The Sala del Concistoro houses one of Domenico Beccafumi’s best works, ceiling frescoes of allegories on the virtues of Siena’s medieval government. But it is the Sala del Mappamondo and the Sale della Pace that hold the palaces’s highlights: Simone Martini’s huge Maestà and Equestrian Portrait of Guidoriccio da Fogliano and Ambrogio Lorenzetti’s Allegories of Good and Bad Government, once considered the most important cycle of secular paintings of the Middle Ages.

  • Includes guided tour, visit to the Duomo and shopping time. Our professional guide will take the group around Siena to visit the major sights that include: Basilica of San Domenico. Walking tour of the medieval streets. The Duomo, Piazza del Campo (where the famous horse race takes place). The ticket includes the visit to the Duomo.

12:30 pm | Lunch on your own


3 pm | Depart Siena


4:30 pm | Arrive in Certaldo Alto

  • Certaldo Alto is a medieval hilltown with Etruscan roots in Tuscany between Florence and Siena. It’s historic center is compact and easy to walk around but you must park your car outside the center and walk up a bit of a hill to enter. Like many medieval hilltowns, a modern town has been built below the old Certaldo and alto refers to Certaldo Alto’s position on the hill or above the modern town. The whole town is beautifully constructed of red bricks. Certaldo Alto was the home of Boccaccio, author of Il Decamerone, written in 1351, and you can visit his house. Read more…




  • We will also receive a Maiolica demonstration from a local artist Monica Lazzerini before dinner. To learn more about Lazzerini, visit: www.artesiaceramica.it.

    Monica Lazzerini graduated from the Art Institute of Florence, and after some work experience begun to decorate ceramics in Montelupo Fiorentino. She learned from expert craftsmen to decorate “a bottega” in the Tuscan tradition specific to Montelupo. After gaining some experience, in 1990 she along with her business partner launched “Artesia”, their very own workshop of hand-made ceramics, located in the ancient medieval town of Certaldo.

    They specialize in the glaze decoration, creating their works with mineral colors on a background of ‘white’ glaze typical of the original maiolica technique. In their workshop in Via Boccaccio 35, visitors can actually see the various stages of production because everything, from design to painting to firing in the kiln, is carried out and overseen by the two craftswomen: the quality and originality of the pieces are their pride and their trademark.

8 pm | Dinner | Included

Thursday, June 14, 2011
La Meridiana | Potter Schedule

8 am | Breakfast on Own | Attendees will have access to kitchen

9 am | Instructor Marcia Selsor | Handbuilding Demonstration

  • Marcia will demonstrate how to handle large slab constructions including a column, a bird bath bowl and a right angled architectural corbel. She will also share techniques for ornamental embellishments. To learn more about Marcia, visit: http://marciaselsor.com/


12:30 pm | Lunch provided by La Meridiana


2-4 pm | IStudio visit with Terry Davies

5 pm | Dinner | Wine tasting at Canto di Baccio

In the charming enoteca Canto di Baccio reigns a beautiful atmosphere of other times. The beautifully refurbished little “salon “ in medieval Barberino, overlooks the Elsa valley. The prize winning vines of La Spinosa are displayed and while tasting, the knowledgeable host Danila, will explain it’s making and the characterizing treats.

A carefully selected choice of local cheeses, mainly made out of sheep milk, from fresh to more aged, cured meats, olives and other fine foods are the perfect complement to a fresh white and brilliant, full bodied reds of different vintages.

A rarely found, true specialty is the sweet dessert wine made of late harvested grapes. All of the golden autumn beauty seems to be concentrated in it. The numbered bottles are taken in high account.

Taste it while exploring the truth about renowned Tuscan chocolate valley. Small producers have started to combine first choice chocolate to unexpected ingredients like rosemary, chilli pepper and even truffles.

A smooth grappa will close this sensorial experience.

Choice of one white and two reds
Dessert wine
Selection of cheese



Friday, June 15, 2011
Day Trip to San Gimignano and Volterra

7:30 am | Breakfast on Own | Attendees will have access to kitchen


8:30 am | Leave for San Gimignano

  • San Gimignano rose from an ancient etruscan settlement around a seventh century parish and a castle gave to the Volterra’s episcope in 929; during the XII century became a city-republic. Its first walls were built in 998, when San Gimignano became a business centre along the Francigena Way. San Gimignano is the birthplace of “Folgore da San Gimignano” (Poet, 1270-1332).

    The families, enriched with the commerce, ordered 72 towers to be built (but, as the law forbade, none of them could not exceed in height the Commune tower, called Rognosa).
    Further to the continuous infighting between Guelfi and Ghibellini factions (in 1300 also Dante Alighieri stopped there few days as Guelfi’s league ambassador) and to the conflict with Volterra, in 1343 was subordinated to the duke of Athens and in 1353 was subdued to Florence, following later the rule of Grand Duchy of Tuscany till 1860.

    The Urban structure and the numerous civil and religious buildings of San Gimignano, almost intact, preserve the medievale fascination; only 15 of the 72 towers remain, unbroken or cropped, but they are enough to give an unmistakable mark to the town.

  • Colligiata Church: this church is amongst the most frescoed of all the churches in Tuscany and its elaborate interior decorations are often quite overwhelming.

  • After visiting the Colligiata Church you will have free time to explore the city. Here are some suggestions of things you can visit and do.

    • Shopping

    • Visit Gagliardi Art Gallery: The Galleria Gagliardi in San Gimignano, has without doubt the largest selection of contemporary ceramic sculptors in Italy. You will also find a wide collection of interesting contemporary paintings and sculptures by national and international well known artists.

      Today they can say that the gallery has become an extremely important cultural reference, among the most complete for the permanent promotion and sale of contemporary art; every work is always subject to a scrupulous selection process, with every piece chosen directly in the studios of the artists with whom we work, constantly encouraging them to perform research, renewing their approach and improving their skills in order to present works of the very highest quality.

      The best ceramic sculptures, conceptual, abstract and figurative paintings, bronze and marble sculptures, as well as works in steel, iron and wood, are presented by artists of national and international acclaim, offering an impressive, exceptionally selective art collection. Read more…


Lunch | Lunch On Your Own in Volterra


Afternoon | Volterra

  • Volterra is a major center for anyone interested in the Estruscans. The town itself is encircled by the remnants of Estrucscan walls, and the surrounding countryside has been a rich source of Estruscan tomb discoveries. But above all, the Guarnacci Museum houses one of the most interesting displays of Etruscan antiquities in existence.

  • Museum | Guarnacci Museum: The Guarnacci museum is one of the earliest public museums in Europe. It was founded in 1761 when the noble abbot Mario Guarnacci, a collector of antiquities, donated his archaeological collection to the citizens of the city of Volterra.

  • After visiting the Guarnacci Museum you will have free time to explore the city.

7:30 pm | Dinner and Reception

  • A musical event with tenor singer and guitar to be held at La Meridiana, with invitation to local potters to join attendees.

Saturday, June 16, 2012
Leave for Florence Airport

4:00 am | Breakfast on Own | Attendees will have access to kitchen


4:30 am and 8:30 am| Leave for Florence Airport and Train Station

  • Flights should be booked to depart after 7 am to allow time for check in and airport security.
 register now
daily schedule for non-potter                                                                

June 4-9, June 13, and June 15-16, 2012 | Potter and Non-Potter are the SAME Schedule

June 10-12, and June 14,  2012 | Potter and Non-Potter are on DIFFERENT Schedules

Sunday, June 10, 2012
Faenza to Certaldo | Non-Potter Schedule

8 am | Breakfast at Hotel (included)

9 am | Palazzo Milzetti – Included

Lunch | Included

2:30 pm | Leave by bus to Certaldo

6:30 pm | Arrive at La Meridiana

  • Distribution of Rooms

8 pm | Dinner at Wilma’s (included)


Monday, June 11, 2012
Cooking Lesson | Non-Potter Schedule

8:30 am | Meet in Lobby of La Meridiana, Leave for Certaldo. Stop at Coffee shop for light breakfast and coffee.

10:30 am | Cooking Lesson and Lunch

  • Tuscany cooking class – In Italy, cooking is the art that is available to everyone. No matter what your budget, meals and eating are for celebration and nourishment, in the truest sense of the world.  La Cucina di Giuseppina.


2:30 pm | Shopping for food at the local market


Dinner | Dinner on Own | Attendees will have access to kitchen



Tuesday, June 12, 2012
Tour through Chianti with Guide | Non-Potter Schedule

8 am | Breakfast on Own | Attendees will have access to kitchen

10 am | Leave for Tour through Chianti with Guide

12:30 pm | Lunch provided by La Meridiana

1:30 pm | Continue with tour

5 pm | Arrive back at La Meridiana

7:30 pm | Dinner | Included Pizza Party at La Meridiana

Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Day Trip to Siena | Non-Potter Schedule

8 am | Breakfast on Own | Attendees will have access to kitchen

9 am | Leave for Siena (see above Potters Schedule for details)

Lunch | Lunch on your own

Afternoon | Continue in Siena

4:30 pm | Arrive in Certaldo Alto (see above Potters Schedule for details)

8 pm | Dinner | Included

Thursday, June 14, 2012
Monoprint Art Experience | Non-Potter Schedule

8 am | Breakfast on Own | Attendees will have access to kitchen

10 am | Meet at La Meridiana and leave for monoprint experience with artist Kirsten Lockie

12:30 pm | Lunch | Included

4:30 pm | Return to La Meridiana

6 pm | Dinner | Wine tasting at Canto di Baccio (see above Potters Schedule for details)

Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday, June 13 and 15-16, 2012
Refer to Potters Schedule for details | Non-Potter Schedule

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Soft Raku – Two-Day Hands-On
Soft raku is a particular kind of raku originally developed by the Italian ceramic artist Giovanni Cimatti. It is based on two specific techniques of making and firing, that may be considered the perfect fusion of two ancient Mediterranean techniques.


The making requires a clay with no grog and of fine particles and the use of “Terra Sigillata” a smooth, lustrous coating of clay, similar to what was used by the ancient Greeks and Romans. In the firing the work is extracted from the kiln at a lower temperature than normal raku and covered by sawdust for a brief moment creating an intense fumigation as used for the “Bucchero” by the pre- roman population of the Etruscans.


The color response will produce brilliant oranges and deep black, in relation to the original clays from which the “Terra Sigillata” is extracted. A network of crazes and the addition of drops or lines of sodium and potassium based glazes open a great range of marvelous variations and effects.

Throwing Demonstration | Pietro Maddalena
Pietro’s throwing demonstration will cover forms, on both small and larger scale, and the ways the thrown form may be modified by turning, faceting, fluting, and deformation. There will be an insight into specifically Mediterranean ways of using the wheel, plus a demonstration with some simple and very efficient tools. 



Additional Information
Pietro Elia Maddalena studied ceramics at the West Surrey College of Art & Design in England. After two more years of work at Dartington Workshop, he returned to Italy where in 1980 he established a studio and founded La Meridiana, the International School of Ceramics in Tuscany.

“I am totally and continuously interested in the process of making. I see the craft object as a projection of the human spirit and the culture in which it was nurtured. In elaborating concept, material and process, my ultimate goal is the expression of beauty through sophisticated and sensual forms.”



For more information about Pietro, visit: www.pietro.net

Soft Raku | Presenting with Pietro Maddelena
See above for description of soft raku hands-on workshop

Additional Information
Paola Paronetto was born in Pordenone in 1965. Her professional training began in 1988  with an intense  series of training courses. Her  artistic development has included many different experiences which range from continuous experimentation in her  own production, to teaching at the renowned  Meridiana School of Ceramics, and cooperation with many different art galleries.

While interpreting the tastes  and tendencies of a public who loves contemporary  design, she is in no way conditioned by this in her work. Her experimentation is the spontaneous result of a deep feeling of the beauty that springs from nature and from the simplicity of formal content.

At the moment she is working on porcelain, paper clay and “Terre sigillate”. Her collections range from purely decorative objects , sometimes of notable size,  to everyday objects and are designed for those who love to surround themselves with refined and exclusive objects, individual pieces which reveal both the artisan’s skill and the artist’s communicative intentions. Paola Paronetto’s  philosophy has so far  been successful, and  her products have been sold in prestigious shops in Italy and abroad.


The following is a list of her most important exhibitions:

1999 – Galleria Adriana – San Vito al Tagliamento (PN); 2001 – Galleria Gagliardi – San Gimignano (SI) ; Galleria Gulliver – Elba (Isola d’Elba); Galleria Geometrie – Greve di Chianti (FI); 2002 – Casa Gaia da Camino – Portobuffolè (TV); Galleria Gagliardi – San Gimignano (SI); Galleria M.Arte – Milano; 2003 – Galleria Studio Logos – Roma; Galleria Gagliardi – San Gimignano (SI); 2004 – Galleria Queens – Pordenone; 2005 – Galleria Gagliardi – San Gimignano (SI); Galleria Gagliardi – Taormina (ME); 2006 – Teche Galleria – Empoli (FI); Galleria Gagliardi – San Gimignano (SI); 2007 – Galleria Spazio Nibe – Milano; Galleria Gagliardi – San Gimignano (SI); 2008 – Erreti Arte – Mantova; Galleria Gagliardi – San Gimignano (SI); Centro Interporto – Pordenone; 2009 – Galleria la Roggia – Pordenone; 2009 – Galleria Aldo Moro-Cordenons (PN); 2010 – Humus Park- Land Art Meeting–Torre (PN); 2010 – Maestri a Nordest – Biennale d’Arte Contemporanea; 2010 – CONTINUUM-1970/2010 (galleria la Roggia) Trieste; 2011 – Talenti–Portobuffolè (TV); 2011 – Terre Papier-Musee de la Ceramique Bernard Palissy.



To learn more about Paola, visit: www.paolaparonetto.com


Handbuilding | Techniques and Traditions
Marcia Selsor has been taking ceramic groups to Europe since 1995. Her fascination with European Architecture is reflected in her use of imagery and forms. As we travel through Italy we will focus on visiting inspirational sites of collections of ceramics, mosaics and architectural ceramic ornamentation as found in Tuscany, Faenza and at the world heritage sites in Ravenna. Marcia will demonstrate how to handle large slab constructions including a column, a bird bath bowl and a right angled architectural corbel. She will also share techniques for ornamental embellishments.



dditional Information
Selsor is a Professor Emerita at Montana State University-Billings where she taught for 25 years. Her career in Ceramics spans over four decades and during that time she has taught workshops on a wide variety of topics across the U.S., in Italy, Spain, and Canada. She has had residencies at: The Clay Studio in Philadelphia, PA; The Archie Bray Foundation in Helena, Mt.; La Meridiana in Tuscany; The Straumur Artists Commune in Iceland; The Banff Center in Canada; Dzintari in Jurmula, Latvia; the Mary Anderson Center for Creative Arts in Mount St. Francis, In.; and twice in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. She received two Senior Fulbright Fellowship Awards: Spain in 1985 and Uzbekistan in 1994. She has been on the Board of NCECA and the Potters Council. She has presented numerous times at NCECA and written or contributed to many books, journals and magazines.

Selsor received a BFA in Ceramics with Bill Daley at the Philadelphia University of the Arts and an MFA in Ceramics with Nick Vergette from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale.

Her work is in the following collections:
Museum of Contemporary Ceramics, Santiago de los Caballeros, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The Clay Studio, Permanent Collection, Philadelphia, PA
Archie Bray Foundation Permanent Collection, Helena, MT
Walter Phillips Permanent Collection Banff Centre, Alberta, CANADA
Instituto de Cultura Juan Gilbert Alicante, SPAIN
International Center of Artists, Tashkent, UZBEKISTAN
Museum of Plastic Arts, Tumen, RUSSIA
Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ
Riga Museum of Fine Arts, Riga, LATVIA
Pushkin Museum, Moscow, RUSSIA
Planned Parenthood of Billings, MT
The Jade Palace Restaurant, Helena, MT
Yellowstone Art Museum, Permanent Collection, Billings, MT
Deaconess Medical Center, Billings, MT
Security Bank, Laurel, MT
Springfield Art Museum, Permanent Collection, Springfield, IL
and numerous private collections

Ceramic Artist – Marcia Selsor was featured in Ceramic Arts Daily Website.
Click the link to read:How to Make Large Slab-Built Ceramic Forms Using Tarpaper Molds.




For more information about Marcia, visit: marciaselsor.com

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host facility
LA MERIDIANA | International School of Ceramics in Tuscany

Loc. Bagnano, 135
50052 Certaldo – Firenze

Tel & Fax: +39 0571 660084
Email: info@lameridiana.fi.it
Website: www.lameridiana.fi.it

La Meridiana is a non-profit institution for the advancement of the ceramic arts. It was founded in 1981 by Pietro Elia Maddalena. Started off as a summer school, thanks to the high standard of organization, teaching and facilities, it has become the most important private ceramic school in Italy. The standard of teaching and facilities are conducive to a most fruitful and rewarding learning experience. The perfect environment and the friendly atmosphere make it a place for a great holidays.

The Ceramic School is set in a restored 15th century farmhouse, in the center of Tuscany, land of Etruscan and Roman culture, medieval architecture and renaissance splendor. Our goal is to offer a facility dedicated to a continual education in the ceramic art, a meeting ground in a place rich in Italian culture.

Check out these 360 degree pictures of La Meridiana. Click on each picture.


The studio is set in a restored 15th century farmhouse atop a hill and boasts glorious views of the hills and farmlands. The beautiful garden, with relaxing areas, pond and pool is enriched by ceramic sculptures and architectural elements.

The large studios offer working space both inside and outside for all types of ceramic work. The main room is equipped with 14 throwing wheels, slab roller and extruder. Glaze facilities include a large spray booth. Kilns range from low fire electric, high fire gas and raku, to soda and wood firing. Pit, smoke and other techniques can take place on the grounds. Our staff is fluent in English.

Lodging at La Meridiana
Attendees will be hosted in double rooms with shared bathroom and cooking facilities.


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additional travel information

Required: Please bring only one medium to large suitcase and one smaller suitcase/backpack due to limited luggage space when traveling by train and bus. We will be traveling to Faenza for a three night stay. Recommend only bringing the smaller suitcase/backpack for this trip. The large suitcase will be transported to La Meridiana. Note: With so many travelers on this trip, only one large piece of luggage can be transported to La Meridiana. Note you will need to be able to travel via train and bus with both pieces of luggage. So if possible a medium size suitcase and backpack would be best. Recommend packing comfortable walking shoes.


Access to Washer:
You’ll have access to a washing machine while at La Meridiana. Clothing will need to be line dried.

This trip will include a significant amount of walking, and is not recommended for those who have difficulty walking for long distances or at a swift pace. Include stairs and steep inclines.

Florence Airport

website: www.aeroporto.firenze.it

Ground Transportation from Airport:
Go here for information about bus ground transportation from the Florence Airport

Maps for Area
Map of Florence

Map of Faenza
Map of Ravenna



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You are invited to register by telephone only.

  • To register by telephone, call toll free at 866-721-3324 or direct dial 614-794-5872.
    • Note: These numbers can ONLY be used for registering for this event. We have set up dedicated phone numbers to better service you when registering for Ceramics in Tuscany.
  • Waiver of Liability, Idemnity Agreement and Certification and Release for Emergency Medical Treatment

  • Hours are from 7:00 am to 4:30 pm eastern. Monday – Friday. If you’re calling after hours, please leave detailed message and we will return your call the next business day.


  • Pick one of the below Payment options and register today by calling.



Please call 866-721-3324 or 614-794-5872 to be placed on wait list

Open to Artists Around-the-World


Options to Pay:

On or Before
February 24, 2012
(SAVE $555)
February 24, 2012
Paid-in-Full | Double Room


Paid-in-Full | Single Room


Payment Plan | Double Room
See below for payment schedule
$3,745.00 N/A
Payment Plan | Single Room
See below for payment schedule
$4,445.00 N/A
Payment Plan Option Schedule
The payment plan option consists of 2 payments of which one is scheduled.

  • When registering a minimum of $500 is required.
  • Your card will then be charged the balance of the trip on February 27, 2012:
Cancellation Policy
Full Refund less $500 if canceled on or before February 24, 2012; full refund less 50% of payment if canceled between February 25 and May 4, 2012; No refunds after May 5, 2012.
Included in Registration
  • Lodging: 12 nights ((3) Florence; (3) Faenza; (6) Certaldo). The lodging will be of appropriate standard, in double rooms in Florence and Faenza, while La Meridiana (Certaldo) lodging will be hosted in double rooms with shared bathroom and shared cooking facilities.


  • Ground Transportation: Includes bus and train transportation while traveling in Italy, ground transportation while at La Meridiana, and drop off at Florence airport or train station on day of departure.


  • Workshop Facilities: La Meridiana will provide a large, well-organized studio, clay, use of equipment, tools and kilns. Three instructors (Potters Only)
  • Meals: A total of 11 Italian meals with first course, second course, sweet dish, water and wine, either lunch/dinner and 7 breakfasts are included.
  • Museum Entrances: Entrance tickets to Bargello Museum in Florence, Uffizi Museum in Florence, Zauli house and International Ceramic Museum in Faenza, Day pass for sights in Ravenna, Duomo in Siena, Collegiata church in San Gimignano and Estruscan Museum in Volterra. A professional guide will lead the visits to the Bargello, Uffizi, Zauli, International Ceramic Museum and in Siena.
  • Events: A musical event with tenor singer and guitar to be held at La Meridiana, with invitation to local potters.
  • Side Activities for Non-Potters: During the ceramic workshop the following will be provided for non-potter attendees: Day trip through Chianti Country side, one cooking lesson, and one day mono print art experience.(Non-Potters Only)
NOT Included in Registration
  • Airfare: Plan to arrive in Florence on Monday, June 4 and depart Saturday, June 16 from Florence Airport.
  • Transportation: From the Airport to Hotel Mia Cara; Attendees can take a taxi at an estimated 39 Euros to hotel or a bus (5) Euros from the airport to the Florence Train Station. The hotel is a 6 minute walk from the train station.
  • Meals: Provide 18 meals on your own. (5) Breakfast (7) Lunches, and (6) Dinners. Estimate that you will need $700 for food. Note: this is an estimate and could be higher or lower depending on what you choose to eat and where.

    Note: When at La Meridian for workshop, we will have access to kitchen and shopping (included in the estimate of $ amount needed)

Limited Spots Available


Open to Artists Around-the-World

Registration is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Due to limited spaces available you’ll need to register via the phone. Note below are the number of spaces available.

Note if you register for Non-Potter spot, you’ll follow the non-potter schedule, if you register for Potter, you’ll follow the Potter Schedule. NO EXCEPTIONS.

  • Maximum of 26 Registered Attendees
    • Maximum Potters: 20
    • Maximum Non-Potters:6
    • Maximum Single Rooms: 4
  • Update of availability:
    • Remaining Potters Spots: 0
    • Remaining Non-Potters Spots: 0
    • Remaining Single Rooms: 0

Note: If you’re not registered for a single room, you’ll be sharing a room with another attendee. No exceptions. We encourage you to travel with spouse or friend.