CERAMIC PINE CONE (Small)
This decorative pinecone is handmade using local traditional techniques by Giacomo Alessi in Caltagirone, Italy. The pinecone has a rich symbolic history dating back to ancient Babylonian and Greek cultures, and continues to be meaningful in Roman Catholicism, where its egg-like shape represents the cosmic birth of creation and beginning of existence. The reproductive task of the pinecone has also lead to it becoming a widely held symbol of fertility, whilst its abundance of seeds is seen to represent prosperity. They were traditionally given as a good luck charm to newlyweds, hence the common pinecone decorations found on old wrought iron beds. In more recent times, the ovoid shape and natural fecundity of the pinecone has been likened to the pineal gland in the human brain, which regulates melatonin levels and is sometimes referred to as the “third eye”.
The rich and varied cultural significance of the pinecone has resulted in it decorating doorways, balconies, churches, thrones and palaces the world over, and it is this wealth of symbolism which the skilled artisans at the Alessi workshop channel when creating their unique pieces. The potter uses a wheel to create the basic form and support, which are carefully joined together once the first drying stage is complete. With great skill and precision the craftsperson then shapes the iconic scales of the pinecone one by one, using only their fingers. This attention to detail and exercise of skill produces captivating results, which are further compounded with the final stages of glazing and firing.
Giacomo Alessi has been developing and refining his craft since 1978, through a rigorous process of technical exploration, artisanal expertise and extensive research. His work process involves deep introspective investigations into the history of Sicilian craft, culture and cosmology, resulting in pieces that reinterpret local traditions, myths, forms and designs in contemporary ways. His work transcends the usual utilitarianism of ceramics to become art in its own right, whilst retaining the versatile usefulness that the craft is known for.
Giacomo Alessi is included in the book of Living Human Treasures of the UNESCO Register of Intangible Heritage for Sicily, and has exhibited in some of the most important ceramic exhibitions in Italy and around the world. His pieces have been featured in the 2006 “Myths of the Earth” exhibition at Palermo’s Salinas Museum, the 2007 57th “Taller de Italia” Michetti Prize in Pescara and the 2011 “Roman Ceramics and Lazio” exhibition in Rome. The latter placed Giacomo Alessi’s work alongside that of Italian greats such as Guttuso, Mastroianni, Greco, Cascella, Cagli and Manzu, to name but a few. Other notable exhibitions of Alessi’s craft were his creation of the coating for Whirlpool’s show cooking, his pieces in the Milan Fuorisalone and “The Ship of Fools” in the 2011 54th Venice Biennale.
THIS ITEM IS ELIGIBLE FOR RETURN WITHIN 30 DAYS OF RECEIPT, IF UNUSED AND IN ITS ORIGINAL CONDITION.
H: 3.94 inches
SKU: 010066CEPI0080000000 Category: Decor & Objects