The Artisan

OVO: Artistic Visions of Clay

Like mysterious sea fossils, OVO's ceramic sculptures seem shaped by time and nature, bearing witness to an ancient tradition reimagined with a contemporary artistic language. Meet Calabrian duo Maurizio Orrico and Enrica Vulcano to discover their unique homage to Italian clay working.

​​OVO – Idee e Manufatti is a design brand born in southern Italy by the creative synergy between the visual artist Maurizio Orrico and Enrica Vulcano. The project came to life as an idea and almost for fun, from Maurizio’s experiment on the oxidation of metals, and was brought to life by Erica’s creative intuition in 2018.

OVO’s artistic adventure begins with a fistful of clay, an ancient and unique material capable of turning into art if shaped by the right hands. Each object born in Maurizio and Enrica’s workshop represents a contemporary, young and eclectic vision of the ancient tradition that lies behind clay working. The entire production process – from raw clay processing to the decorative meticulousness – is completely hand-made, molding this incredible material with real mastery and expertise. Meet Maurizio and Enrica and discover the artistic view behind OVO’s decorative pieces.

The brand OVO was born almost by chance, emerging from artistic research into metal oxidation. Tell us more about how this adventure and your collaboration began.

It all started during Covid. The two founding partners Maurizio Orrico – a former artist with extensively exhibited works – and Enrica Vulcano – a young designer with an Interior design degree – decided to embark on a joint journey inspired by man's first artifact using natural materials like ceramics, wood, and bronze.

What is the hidden meaning behind the name OVO?

Besides being the acronym of the funding partners’ surnames – "V" (Enrica Vulcano) and "O" (Maurizio Orrico) – the name symbolizes an egg as the perfect shape and the source of new ideas. Indeed, the graphical representation of the letter “O” has the exact shape of an egg.

“Hybridization” is unquestionably one of the most fitting terms to describe your style and essence: a continuous exchange between art and design, traditional subjects and modern reinterpretations, ancient production techniques and ongoing research. In your opinion, which object best represents this dualism?

All pieces we develop and design represent our essence and philosophy, in that we are inspired mainly by existing objects that tell a story. Just like how ceramic tells a story in its shapes and objects which we try to reinterpret in a contemporary key. [The same goes for] hand-chiseled, cast bronze cutlery, made like artifacts from a bygone era.

The Moor's head is the symbol par excellence of the Sicilian tradition, its historical value is inestimable and it represents one of the strong points of your production. What is the legend behind this object?

We looked at the Sicilian Moors with an eye to the future, reflecting on contemporary, hot topics - similarly to the whales that represent the degradation of the oceans and the harm they suffer at the hand of man, or the glorification of Italian style and design represented by the 1950s Vespa.

Ceramic is the chosen material for all OVO products. What are the characteristics you love most about this material and what are the main difficulties in its processing?

Ceramic is seemingly the simplest material to work with but at the same time, it becomes difficult to use when shaping very complex forms like the ones in our workshops.

Tradition and Italian know-how represent a starting point for OVO's artistic production. What is your connection with Italy and your roots?

Although our motto "Ideas and Artifacts" and our geographical location link us to the works and traditions of Southern Italy, nothing prevents us from working with all the Made in Italy has to offer, as is the case with our glass vases which are handcrafted in Murano.

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