Wednesday, December 18

Fragili Armonie ceramics in Positano.

A few days ago I stopped off in Montepertuso (an up high suburb of Positano) to visit a friend, Antonia and to have a look round her ceramics studio, Fragili Armonie.
All along the Amalfi Coast you will find shops selling hand painted ceramics. Other than limoncello it is probably one of the most desired gifts from this area and Antonia has set up her own little studio where you can order anything you like hand painted by her on ceramic.
I once got her to make a golden wedding anniversary plate for my in-laws which now hangs pride of place on the wall in their living room and last year when Antonia got married all the guests were given a beautifully decorated serving plate which I whip out at every opportunity.
The pottery arrives like this, blank and smooth:
Once Antonia has chosen a piece it gets dipped in a glaze bath, it fizzes as it goes in and dries to the touch almost instantaneously, but then is left for 24 hours to dry good and proper..
Then the fun part, choosing the colours and mixing the paints...I think I want to become her assistant! (I've just realized there is a loaf of bread on top of the paint powders, this is not part of the process, but if toasted it is perfectly acceptable in any situation.)
You need a steady hand to paint at this tiny turntable, as you can't lean your elbow anywhere and the ceramic absorbs the paint very quickly.
A typical Positano scene...on a clockface.
Here's one she prepared earlier:
Once the painting is done the pieces are placed in the oven for 24 hours. The oven reaches 1000 degrees and then cools down again before the pieces can be taken out.
Antonia also prepares wedding favours (bonboniere) and gifts for christenings. I think it's a lovely idea to gift someone a personalized piece of ceramic as you can have a message written on the back or commission something that will match someones home decor.
I left the studio just in time to catch this beautiful winter sunset:
Antonia can be contacted via her blog or email:


  1. Wondering if my long last comment went through:-(

  2. Hi Nicki, this is all very very interesting to me. In 1993/94 , I learnt how to do Ceramics, not just the painting but the actual making of the items. My husband was in the RAF and they did a Ceramic club for the wives. So we used to make all our items ,clean them up, paint and fire ourselves. And here in my little town , my friend has a shop, where people come in and do all the painting themselves . and then Sarah glazes it and fires it. We can do baby prints, adult prints, (we help with that bit) or you can do free hand painting, and then it gets glazed and goes into the Kiln.. we do commissions , Wedding plates, where after it is painted and glazed, the person takes it away and we give them a special pen. People at the wedding sign it , and then it just gets cooked in the persons oven at home. I do a bit of hand painting now and again when my head has an idea . Looks wonderful , and right up my street :-) xox


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