About Artemest
The Artisan

Fairytale Ceramics by Zanellazine

Giovanna and Lucia, respectively aunt and niece, open the doors of their ceramic laboratory surrounded by the green hills of Varese, where they create unique, handcrafted pieces that reflect their love for nature and celebrate femininity in all its variations.

​Giovanna Zighetti has been a ceramist for the past 35 years, after falling in love with this material in the 80s. Her niece Lucia Zamberletti comes from a fashion background and has chosen ceramic as her creative mean, while constantly looking for innovation. United by their passion for clay and a strong connection to the place where they live, they founded ​Zanellazine in 2012, a ceramic studio with a workshop on the hills around Varese, in the north of Italy.

These two artisans use different techniques to handcraft unique pieces, both striking and functional, with a strong signature style and a whimsical aesthetic that gets its inspiration from nature and the feminine world. Discover their latest collections and their personal approach to ceramics.

​Tell us about the history of your company.

Giovanna started at the beginning of the 80s, after literally falling in love with ceramics and frequenting Lino Di Claudio’s workshop. After meeting with master Giancarlo Sapin in Schio, and trying several experiences also as a stylist and a set designer, Giovanna brought her studio home, where she started collaborating with Lucia. Lucia, after being a fashion consultant for ten years, turned to ceramic as her preferred technique to express her creativity. A common passion for beauty and the similar taste between us two have given creative energy and ideas to our collections.

Your handcrafted ceramics reflect your love for nature. What are the main inspirations of Funghi and Bloomen Collections?

Funghi is a collection of ceramic sculptures inspired by the natural world of Fungi, made with different types of clays and different techniques, every single piece is hand manipulated and hand decorated thus making it unique. Funghi are Pop Icons : there are people who collect them, some other love to eat them, some heal themselves through their power and everybody has somehow a childhood memory of “fungi” being it bound to a cartoon or a fairy tale. These sculptures are our Odes to these fantastic forms of living and they sometimes turn out to be brutal as in the real world: their stems are crooked, their hats are incomplete, their surfaces have bubbles or signs, but the beautiful lies in this forms of what we call imperfection which in reality is the real truth and uniqueness of nature.

Bloomen collection is composed by blooming totems made of different pieces. They are inspired by Nature and there is always a contrast between the stillness of the sculpture and the idea of the blossom movement which is represented and between the techniques used to obtain the final piece: polished and shining surfaces are here joint with crackle and mat ones; every single piece is handmade and hand decorated thus making the final object completely unique.

​Could you describe your production process?

Each object is a one-of-a-kind piece, entirely handcrafted mixing different materials and using different techniques. We exclusively make pieces by hand or on the lathe, using with traditional techniques. We work clay, earthenware and fire clays and decorate them using different techniques like biscuit, slipware, maiolica, gran fuoco (with a second baking of the object) and even raku. We like to think of ourselves as artisans, not artists because our pieces are also functional.

​How do your surroundings influence your work?

We have a strong bond with our surroundings: we live on the same street, which is also the place we have our workshop and where, with other artisan friends, we organize twice a year a local market featuring local handcrafted excellences. The proceeds help various associations, including one for free care of terminal patients and their families. We also feel a deep connection generally with the Italian land and its rich and evocative traditions. At the same time we are also active on the Internet where we find ideas, inspirations and through which we have started several collaborations. The latest one is the first House & Garden UK pop-up shop that asked for five Babe pieces.

The Collection