Majolica factory in Deruta Umbria
The current owner of the Grazia factory is Ubaldo. He is the grandson of “nonno” Grazia who built the factory still in use today in 1920.
The history of majolica production
The majolica tradition dates back to 1200. At the beginning of the 16th century the Grazia family started producing majolica in Deruta. At that time many Italian families moved to Deruta because of its majolica production. It was big business and meant work for many. The Grazia family originally came from Bologna.
At the time majolica was very popular in Italy. Noble families, churches and convents bought majolica and pilgrims who passed by on their way to Assisi to visit the tomb of St. Francis were eager to buy some majolica from Deruta. Around 1900 Grazia’s majolica became famous in America. Some shops like Tiffany, Neiman Marcus and William Sonoma still sell their handmade ceramic art and pottery.
A tour at the Grazia factory
We had a guided tour from Ubaldo Grazia in the factory, starting in the lab with a demonstration of a potter’s wheel where a small vase of clay was made.
The object just made of clay will be put into a closed room for 20 days to dry. After that it will be fired out the first time at a temperature of about 1020 degrees.
After the first firing the object is called bisque. The bisque will be immersed into a bath of metal oxides to cover the porous terracotta. After that the pottery is ready to be painted followed by a last firing process.
Ubaldo Grazia has a wonderful office full of antique majolica. Next to his office is the lab where artisans paint and decorate the objects. Nowadays they produce contemporary and classical majolica.
Visiting the Grazia Majolica factory
Would you like to visit the Deruta factory? You’re more than welcome! Entrance and guided tours are free. Reservation is not necessary, unless you come with a group. One can also participate in majolica courses, after reservation and payment. For questions or more information you can contact Ubaldo Grazia and Emanuela (they also speak English).
Tel: +39 075 971 0201