The main majolica workshop of Irpinia, are all located in Ariano Irpino. There are only seven of them left to dominate in the realization of the old tradition of Ariano ceramics, in the streets that frame the town hall of the city. Opposite to the Civic and Ceramics Museum in Via dell’Afflitto, on one of the most central streets of the Irpinia municipality, is the eclectic workshop of Flavio Grasso, a self-taught ceramist.
Campania is rich in this sculptural expression of shapes and colors: from that of Vietri, Cava de ‘Tirreni to the majolica of Ariano Irpino, rich in thematic shapes and characterized by the colors yellow, orange, green and, from the eighteenth century, a bright blue.
Flavio Grasso is like a passionate manual of notions and emotions that relate to his land, which inspired him in his job as a craftsman of ceramics and wood.
He enthusiastically recounts “secret” ceramics, jewels dedicated to recreational moments at the table. Remember satisfactions and conquered goals, telling interesting anecdotes that brought him back to his starting city.
He was just a curious child who turned his parents’ toy shop upside down, assembling and disassembling everything, putting into effect his natural predisposition to manual skill.
At seven, he already knew what his path would be. Taking his first steps in the Ariano Art Institute, he knew he would attend the Academy of Fine Arts, first in Florence, then in Bologna.
Another suitcase to do and unpack, heading towards Siena: the doors of the workshop of the maestro Emanuele Giannetti open. The strength of attraction is an irrefutable law: in 2004 he returned to Ariano, in 2006 he opened his own workshop. Flavio returns, for two reasons, the first for affections, the second for giving life to his vocation, including works of art, craftsmanship, experimentation and research.
In the range of its operations, beyond the teaching that it has been practicing for five years, shaping new Irpinia minds, maybe future artisans or artists of tomorrow, there is also the realization of liturgical furnishings: the Church of Santa Barbara and the Church of Carmine di Ariano Irpino, the church of Santa Maria Maggiore in Grottaminarda, and work in progress in Sturno.
Forty-three years and an infinite desire to express all his ardor for his first love, as when he speaks of his works in wooden sculptures. The choice of wood, he explains, was born to recover a piece that would be decomposing. To recover in order to enhance his creed, as in art, in craftsmanship as well as in his life: to restore a tradition to redevelop it.