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Doriana Usai

  • Skilfully lathe-shaped in essential lines, these vases are enriched and have an original touch thanks to the plastic addition of vortex-shaped elements combined with small birds. The refined terracotta surfaces can be glimpsed through the black enamel decorations.

  • Elegant and original, these bases for lamps are lathe-shaped and decorated with a unique design inspired by traditional local costumes, lace and confectionery. Entirely handcrafted and decorated with enamel and pure gold, they are part of a rich line of coordinated décor items.

  • The finely lathe-shaped terracotta surface can be glimpsed, as delicate as lace, on these glazed ceramic bottles.

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  • Richly decorated, this exquisite bride’s jug is crafted by this ceramist with technical virtuosity, faithfully evoking the decorative iconography reproduced by her Assemini-born father, Efisio Usai, keeper of a ceramist family tradition.

The artisan

Doriana Usai’s fine ceramics are the fruitful result of the insightful blend of invaluable family craftsmanship, which has now reached its fifth generation, and training of excellence in ceramic art. Doriana grew up in a creative environment in her father Efisio Usai’s workshop in Assemini, a centre of ancient and renowned ceramic production. She graduated from the School of Art in Cagliari and continued her training in ceramics by attending prestigious courses in Faenza, Montelupo Fiorentino and Deruta, after which she decided to further her education and thus graduated in letters and design at the E-Campus University in Milan. Doriana is highly skilled and strongly inspired, she expertly crafts and richly decorates her sophisticated products that tell stories rooted in ancient traditions. Experienced potter, she has won the World Lathe Turning Championship in Faenza several times and has been enrolled since 2006 in the special register of DOC-labelled ceramic art producers. She participates as a representative of the local excellence in national and international exhibitions and major fairs dedicated to Sardinian craftsmanship.

The collection

Doriana Usai’s ceramic production consists of various lines of pottery and home décor with decorations inspired by filigree, brocades and traditional local confectionery, crafted according to her personal techniques. Her lines of production are lathe-shaped and include tableware, such as plates and bowls of various shapes and functions, and other décor items such as vases and various bases for lamps. The line smalto a rilievo (relief matte enamel) and the line cotto a rilievo (relief terracotta) are just a few examples of the decorative variants proposed by the workshop. In addition to said experimental lines, Doriana proposes traditional items such as the line of Brocche della Sposa (bride’s jugs), richly decorated with plastic additions, and linee tradizionali con smalto (enamelled traditional lines), tableware with classic patterns and shapes. Works can also be commissioned to satisfy the clientele’s specific requests.

The technique

The distinguishing feature of this workshop is the extraordinary skill in lathe-shaping. Plate-shaping, moulding and manual plastic shaping are also used, depending on the requirements of the given product. Enamelling and glazing can be done by immersion, airbrush or sprinkling. Slip is also used. Relief decoration with terracotta and enamels is the typical decoration of this workshop, but traditional paintbrush decorations are also performed. Gold and silver decorations are made with third firing.

More details on the Mediterranean Crafts Archive

To get to know the territory, the techniques and the tools, visit the relevant section.

Where to find them

Ceramiche Artistiche e Tradizionali Via Carmine, 216 09032 Assemini (CA)


Telefono: +39 070 941791

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