Jen DeRose -- Interior Design, 3/1/2007 12:00:00 AM
Ceramiche Bitossi by Flavia just celebrated what would have been the 95th birthday of creative director Aldo Londi. The prolific ceramist was perhaps most renowned for his Rimini Blu collection of pottery, a love letter to the aquamarine Mediterranean Sea on the Italian Riviera. Londi is also credited with discovering Ettore Sottsass—who joined Ceramiche Bitossi in the early '50's—and enlisting the Memphis talents of Marco Zanini and Nathalie Du Pasquier in the 1980's.
Last year, the company reissued a dozen Londi vases from 1950 to 1970, relying on original techniques and documents whenever possible. A 1960's U.S. catalog was referenced for the Piet Mondrian–inspired 1808; 1963 sketches yielded the rather Byzantine 2051. A vintage material was even sourced for 1967's 2113: It was sprayed in Lobster orange, a 30-year-old enamel discovered in sealed cans.
In keeping with tradition, the reissues were made by artisans, not machines. The red-clay 2297 vase from 1950 was hand-thrown and hand-painted with red dots; 1962's similar 215 was hand-engraved in a rumble pattern. And the ears, feet, and tail of the 125 cat figurine, 1962, were likewise attached by hand.
All but one of the 2006 reissues have sold out. However, other treasures are sure to follow—the company has a 70,000-piece archive to draw from. 16 Via Antonio Gramsci, 50056 Montelupo Fiorentino, Italy; 39-0571-51403; flavia.it. circle 368