In the late 1950’s, following in the footsteps of father Luigi that back in 1918, at the age of 17 years, worked in the furnace, Mario Sambuco, after acquiring extensive and thorough knowledge of Deruta’s ceramic-making traditions and techniques, founded the Sambuco company.
From the years '80, Lucio and Luca Sambuco, after learning from childhood by their parents Mario and Colomba and the grandfather Luigi the basics and secrets of the art of ceramics, enter definitively in the family business.
Since 2000, Sambuco has been developing a research and development project entitled “Stilnovo”. In collaboration with artists and designers, its goal is to create new forms and decorations, to experiment with new materials and create new furnishing solutions and applications.
Mario studied and used materials rarely found in wares from Deruta, including precious materials such as gold, platinum and copper. He then went on to specialize in the field of contemporary ceramics, and later produced an extensive line of religious items and objects for sacred art.
Several special decorations realized by Mario Sambuco require etching of the newly-made product. This is the case of the style inspired by Byzantine mosaics. The mosaic is a floor or wall decoration made up of many small, variously coloured cubes, called “tessera”, or of fragments of various shapes of glass paste, terracotta, etc., bound in place by mortar, cement mixed with water or mastic. Mosaic attained its greatest moment during the era of Byzantine painting, whose hallmarking feature is the background, which is usually gold.
Research brought about the creation of mosaic-effect majolica: the so-called "Byzantine-style". It is technically possible to obtain these results with a sharp steel tip that marks out a predefined pattern that is etched onto the surface of the newly created object, which is still soft: the result is an image that resembles an authentic mosaic. To complete the item, three firings are required: the first phase is undertaken after the object is etched; the second phase after colouring and the third phase after the application of gold. When the kiln is opened, after this final phase, the craft product that appears before us glows with light and priceless contrasts because of the splendour of the gold and the other colours.
One type of lustre application is called the "Rubino" style, which is achieved by blending a classic lily and flower decoration with ruby red lustre that acts as a background. The entire effect is enhanced with a gold finish.
The company’s staff will be happy to guide you through the workshop, offering a comprehensive and detailed description about all phases of the ceramic’s handmande working, from the creation of the models to their exit from the kiln.
Please, contact us to book the guided visit to the workshop.