Grottaglie, Ionian town located a few miles from Taranto, is still an important city in the economic, cultural and artistic production of Puglia. Thanks to the abundance of clay in the territory, for centuries the production of ceramics has been its main income source. A number of ceramic finds, dating back to classic, show how are ancient the roots of this art and craft production, mostly characterized by everyday objects. According to some local historians, in the late eighteenth century there were 42 factories characterized by a variety of productions, ranging from brick to the puppets for the cribs.
Over the past two centuries, the ceramists specialized in two different work strands: “ruagnara art” and “faenzara art”. The ruagnara art identify the “roba gialla” (yellow stuffs), everyday objects, generally engobed or glazed with lead enamel as the typical containers called “capasoni”, very capacious and designed to store wine; “roba verde “, same items coated with green lead enamel; “roba rossa” (red stuffs), consisting of pans, fire resistant and red colored; “roba rustica” (rustic stuff), a series of not glazed objects or decorated with incisions or reliefs.
The ”Faenzara art”, the art of working the faience also known as “roba bianca” (white stuffs), identifies the most machined glazed ceramic used for a more ornamental use as ornaments, tableware, decorated tiles, etc ..
Typical of the Grottaglie’s production are both decorations of the polychromatic “galletto”(wing nut), and the “Stella” (star), five points made in pentagone around a central point. Typical colors are: verdigris, cobalt blu, ocher yellow and manganese brown.