Casa Marras: Ceramic Tradition Meets Creative Rebellion
Meet Antonio Marras and discover his visionary talent. Already renowned as a fashion icon, in his creative vision art, theatre, dance, cinema and design fuse to develop new visual trajectories made of experimentation and creative rebellion. Explore Casa Marras and its stunning collections of hand-painted unique pieces.
Born in Alghero, Sardinia in 1961 Antonio Marras grew up with a deep love for culture, admiring and pursuing all forms of artistic and creative expression. Ever since debuting his first clothing collection in 1987, fashion designer Antonio Marras has been known and sought after for his extremely personal and revolutionary signature style. Worldwide famous and recognized, Marras art and aesthetic are strongly influenced by his Sardinian roots both in fashion and home design collections. From Alghero he travels to Milan and Paris, but he always comes home in pursuit of creativity, inspiration and material for his expressive universe.
Casa Marras project was born with the launch of two artistic collections: unique hand-painted design ceramics with Antonio Marras trademark. The project started at the suggestion of the artist Marta Lai and developed from a partnership with the historic company Fratelli Colì: a real institution in the Apulian ceramic field, working with wisdom and passion since 1650. Casa Marras collections include plates, bowls, jars, vases and many other everyday tabletop pieces entirely hand-made with an unconventional and exclusive design. Each object holds a unique personality, an ancient charm that gracefully elevates everyday-life objects to another level giving them an eclectic allure. Meet Antonio Marras and discover his creative vision and the wonderful Casa Marras.
What inspired you to create a home collection? What does “home” mean for Antonio Marras?
I developed this idea after meeting Maria Lai, beloved artist, muse, and partner in my experimental research for new techniques intended to better understand and draw inspiration from our heritage, but mostly to satisfy my insatiable passion for creating. For a few years now, besides designing clothes, I have been branching out into fields very different from fashion.
I came across ceramics in Apulia, more precisely in the small town of Cutrufiano (Lecce) at F.lli Colì, a historic factory established in 1650, where brothers Giuseppe and Donato carry forward a tradition that has been handed down for generations with wisdom and passion. It was there that I found a hideaway, an Aladdin's cave, a fairground where everything is possible and within reach. For me this is the ultimate meaning of home: a safe place where you can feel free and express yourself to the fullest.
How did you start your collaboration with the historic ceramic factory F.lli Colì?
It happened by chance, like is often the case for me: a serendipitous encounter, a good sign when I was not actively looking for it, yet I immediately sensed its potential once I happened across it. It was love at first sight, often in my conversations with Maria Lai we even discussed building an oven, but then I found my second home in Cutrofiano and I could not leave anymore.
Both collections pair original illustrations by Antonio Marras with home decor pieces. What is the story behind the drawings you chose for these ceramic pieces?
These drawings convey a desire to free my creativity, the same way as when I sketch in the pages of Partizia’s diary or choose to color using coffee dregs. Clay is a blank canvas where I can let my imagination go wild, a medium that allows great creative freedom and is transformed after the firing process. It is an ancient craft I continue to learn passionately, allowing me to play with shapes and colors on every step of the way.
Why did you choose ceramics for your home collection?
Ceramics has a basic essence just like tradition, generosity, and hospitality. The table, heart of hospitality that accompanies the most intimate and convivial moment of the day, is paired with the “I fratelli Pois'' Collection, while the house is enlivened with unique, extraordinary decorative pieces that seem to step out of Ovidio’s Metamorphoses. Ceramic is unmistakable, with sometimes unconventional hand-painted shapes and features seemingly inspired by fables and the subconscious. Vases, candleholders, lamps, tiles, totem sculptures, rosoni, decorative objects, bowls, plates, cutting boards, and objects of daily use that instead reveal unexpected, captivating details.
The table, symbol of union and sharing, is sacred. Hospitality has ancestral origins, it is a deep and complex concept, firmly anchored in the past and inMediterranean culture: I wanted to convey this connotation.
Three things not to be missed in Alghero:
When visiting Alghero, you should start your walk from Belvedere del Balaguer, Giuni Russo Square, where you can enjoy the most beautiful view in the world: the promontory of Capo Cacciaper, which you can enjoy while walking along the coastline. On one side you see the breakwater and Alghero on the other. Once arrived at the harbour, proceed for 3 kilometers along the beach until you reach Fertilia. It is a walk perhaps best done at sunset: a priceless experience. You surely will have a great time, particularly if accompanied by a dog.
Historic center: enter from Porto Salve, the only entry point from the sea to access the old city, visit the Madonnina della Teca and enjoy Piazza Civica, the city’s social and cultural meeting point. Make your way to theCathedral. A trip during Easter is highly recommended in order to attend/observe/watch the Escravament, a solemn and moving ritual procession.
Take a boat, skiff, or dinghy and go to Capo Caccia, a protected natural reserve. A 186-meter cliff dotted with griffons, moorhens, and seagulls that fly above. There you can really feel how small you are in comparison to nature, in all its grandeur and scale.
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