As the story goes…
There is a tale in my family that has the mysterious allure of a pre-destination. As my father Lauro tells it, once our family name was Michelini. Then, one day my great-great grandfather, who used to travel to markets with a horse-drawn cart to sell pots and pans made of clay, had a misfortune: scared by an animal, the horse reared, throwing the cart and all the wares in a ditch. The family was nicknamed “pignaton” (in the local friulian language, the shattering of all pots), and over the generations, that became our last name.
I left Italy in my youth, with my companion (now my husband), Fausto Pellegrini, to pursue a dream and a passion for graphic design. We studied with one of the fathers of modern American graphic design, Milton Glaser, and ultimately directed our own studio. We lived in New York City for 20 years, and my encounter with the art of pottery took place in an atelier on the East Side of Manhattan, where I learned to shape my growing passion for clay into forms that I longed for. The need to live a simpler and quieter family life made us return to our origins.
We now live in Udine, where I have been able to transform a dream into reality, working in my own pottery studio.The soul of my wares comes to life through a visual aesthetic, inherited from my background in graphic design, combined with the endless enjoyment of forming porcelain. I love the striking contrast of the pureness and whiteness of porcelain with the vivid colors and beautiful patterns of vintage kimono fabrics. I throw my pieces on the wheel and each piece becomes a unique creation as each shape is different and the kimono fabrics that I use are rare and of limited availability.
My studio is in a very quiet part of town and I really enjoy walking to work. The hypnotic feel of the spinning of the wheel and the sounds of the birds filling the air give me an inner feeling of calmness and balance. Along this new journey I began, I’m constantly inspired by the finest daughter, Gemma Minxin, who is always ready for new adventures and new discoveries, and by my life and work partner, Fausto Pellegrini whom, through our successful teamwork, has himself discovered the pleasure of creating objects with his hands.
I feel accomplished and I really enjoy taking time in refinishing my vases, as I don’t like to rush in my work. Besides…I know my ancestors are watching over me.
By Nadia Pignatone via Reflex Deco