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Poetic Visions by Tonino Negri

Meet artisan and artist Tonino Negri that has been working with clay for over thirty years and explore his unique poetic creations in ceramics reminiscent of the great sculptures of sculptor and artist Arturo Marini.

Born in Lodi in 1961, sculptor Tonino Negri collaborated since 1980 with multiple artists and artisans, evolving his art and his crafting skills. Since 1993, he is the founder of the workshop Terra Crea, where he creates stunning works of art with a unique and poetic aesthetic. Tonino Negri's remarkable style is recognized throughout Italy and his ceramic pieces were featured in many important exhibitions throughout Italy.

Tell us your story.

My "Terra Crea" workshop has existed in its various forms for over thirty years. My journey began in the 80s thanks to collaborations with other artists; subsequently, I decided to work on my projects and my creations independently. Over the years, the many collaborations with different Italian and international artists have allowed me to grow and mature artistically.

Tell us how do your works come to life? 

Whenever I want to create a new piece, for sure I will start modeling the shape of a vase. Only when the object is defined, I will transform the clay in an ark, an animal or a female body. The shape of the vase is what I call 'archetype', the original image from which everything begins.

In what way do your surroundings influence your work?

I was born in Lodi, in the Lombardy region, one of the most renowned Italian cities for its ceramic tradition. As an artist, I do not follow the local tradition: I prefer to experiment with techniques and shapes with an archaic and unique accent. However, I consider the historical heritage very important for the evolution of contemporary craftsmanship.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I draw inspiration from everything around me, from natural and non-natural elements. Specifically, the introspection of my inner world is for me an infinite source of ideas and concepts that I can express through my works.

How important are technical skills in the creation of your pieces?

Working with ceramics is definitely a complex art, so technical skills are fundamental. Although clay is a simple and natural material, it has infinite working aspects and techniques: during the phases of modeling, enamelling and firing, it's impossible to predict the final result. The beauty of hand-made products is their uniqueness and inimitability, but it is necessary to know the methodology perfectly.

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