Have you ever thought your kids could work like aspirant-ceramists during your holidays in Italy?
Believe us: they will go mad for it!
The chance is offered by La Bottega del Tornio in Marostica, 1 hour and 20 minutes driving from Venice.
It is a real pottery workshop – as the Italian name prompts – which opens the gate to visitors on March 23rd and the last Saturdays of each month.
But, maybe, visitor is not the right word to describe what the whole family can do there since you will end up the day with dirty hands and dusty clothes.
Kids at work in the pottery workshop
When you arrive at La Bottega del Tornio, the first thing to do is to find the object which inspires your creativeness. You can choose it among dozens of dishes, vases, boxes, pots, ash-trays, jewel-cases, lamp-holders and so on.
Then you must go around and look for a proper desk. Along the way, don’t forget to have a look at the other aspirant-ceramists works: you will find original patterns, the unusual coupling of colours and cute ideas from people who are used to meet here every month.
The next step is the selection of colours. Please, note that some of them will look different after being stoved. For example, the black glaze will turn into gold and the grey into a tonality of green.
Samir was amazed by this magic as well as by the strange tools used to decorate the potteries. And, anyway, he had no doubts about the choice: he made use of all of them!
The last step is the most important one, to have the best raku ceramics. The secret of this technique is in the art of stoving the pots indeed. Once the temperature rises to 930°C, the pieces are removed from the stove and covered with sawdust. After a few minutes, they are dipped in cold water, washed up and … they are ready for your home’s shelves.
While your masterpiece is stoving, you have more than 1 hour of free time. You can try to model a cucco, the Venetian typical ceramic whistle, or have a walk around the giant chessboard in Marostica’s square, 1.5 kilometres far away.
We like La Bottega del Tornio because …
It’s a small company where Made in Italy is not just a label, but the warranty of their product’s quality. You can admire Nico Toniolo, the owner and experienced ceramist, shaping the pottery at the wheel and decorating it with great passion and cleverness. Each object is a unique piece of art, and you can be sure nobody else will have the same at home.
Nico Toniolo opened the Bottega del Tornio in the late Seventies, then taught at the Ceramic School in Nove for ten years and finally fell in love with the raku ceramics. Since then, he has been producing pottery following the secrets of this ancient Japanese technique, adapting shapes and colours for a modern design.
What we don’t like about it
Nico Toniolo doesn’t speak English but, he firmly believes his Venetian dialect is perfect to communicate! Joking aside, when the workshop is open to visitors, his son Andrea is at disposal for helping foreigners.
If Andrea is not there, you can count on Nico’s smile and gestures. Or you can write an e-mail in advance in order to make an appointment with Andrea.
Good to know
- How to get there: highway A31 Valdastico, Dueville exit; then drive along State Road S.S. 248 towards Marostica. The workshop is in the industrial area, 1.5 km before the town
- Where to park: parking space in front of the workshop
- Opening Times: the workshop is open to visitors on the last Saturday of each month, from 9.30 a.m. to 5.30 p.m.
Alternatively, the venue is usually open from 9 to 12 a.m. and from 2.30 to 6.30 p.m everyday. Since it’s a workshop and not a shop, we recommend you to call before going and make sure it is open
- Price: you don’t have to pay for a lesson; just buy the object you like (€ 4 up) and start to decorate it
- Kids facilities: none in the workshop. You can find a playground in Campo Marzio, just outside Marostica’s city walls
- Nearby: Hotel Due Mori is a cosy boutique hotel inside Marostica’s medieval walls and it has some facilities for children