Founded in 1826, Ceramica Giovanni de Maio proudly preserves the tradition of artisanal production of hand-made and hand-decorated majolica and terracotta tiles.
This is tile making of the old school. The plain tiles are coloured with a brush or a sponge; while the exquisite decorative pieces are produced using a stencil or painted by hand.
Giovanni de Maio’s portfolio is distinguished by the variety of eye-catching designs and the subtle glaze crazing which adds particular charm to this company’s products.
Giovanni de Maio has been carefully nurtured by the same family for four generations and continues the timeless tradition of producing ceramic tiles with Mediterranean luminosity to this day.
The founder, Giovanni de Maio, hailed from Ogliara, a town near the Amalfi coast on the slopes of mount Stella that is synonymous with the Italy’s ceramics sector. Here the vital raw materials for the production of Neapolitan Cotto, particularly local clays, are quarried.
The company’s first clients came from the local aristocracy who greatly admired both the warm, pinkish colour of the local clay, and also the deft artistic flourishes of Giovanni de Maio.
In the post-war period Giovanni’s son, Domenico, started to develop new decorations using glazed bisque and more complex surface decoration. In Ogliara, the company could draw on a pool of highly skilled artisans, well versed in the Vietrese tradition. Carefully-controlled modernisation of the production processes allowed the company to expand from an artisanal operation into a craft-based factory-focused industry. Diesel-fuelled tunnel kilns were installed, allowing decorated floor to be produced side-by-side with cotto.
In 1950s and ‘60s Giovanni De Maio became synonymous with Artistic Ceramics Vietrese, and greatly benefitted from Italy’s economic expansion and design-based economy.
Now located in Fisciano, near Salerno, Giovanni de Maio has not lost its soul. Indeed, moving to a location with better logistics has done much to ensure a successful future for Domenico and his sons, Giovanni, Antonio and Elio.
A new post by Joe Simpson, Diary of a Tile Addict, April 2017.