Locals call the Amalfi Coast “magic earth,” a terroir sheathed in rock and ash from the 79AD eruption of Mount Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii.
One of the towns that dot the hills of the coast is Ravello. Founded in the 5th century, Ravello is known as the City of Music. Throughout history, musicians, artists, and writers have made the picturesque coastal town their home…people like Richard Wagner, M. C. Escher, Greta Garbo, Gore Vidal, Joan Miró, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams, and Leonard Bernstein.
And Pasquale Sorrentino, the artist and owner behind “Ceramiche d’Arte by Pasqual.”
While strolling through Ravello this summer, we — my wife, Jennifer, and daughters Allison and Taylor — stopped into Pasqual’s studio. His son showed us around and explained how his father carried on the hundred-years old tradition for the art of ceramics using the locally-distinctive sulphuric soil of Vesuvius.
All of Pasquale’s work is handmade and personalized for his clients. Each piece is shaped by the expert hands of the foggiatore who, with a handful of clay, magically create the ceramic artwork. They are meticulously painted by more than 70 artisans. Oprah Winfrey, Julia Roberts, Richie Sambora, and Bruce Springsteen own pieces of Pasqual’s artwork.
And now The Maney Family does, too.
A table in the courtyard kept calling to us. Pasqual emerged from his studio and we talked about his creative process. We talked about what we liked and how he might incorporate it into a table. No drawings. Just words. And then some signed papers, the exchange of funds, and a few months of anxious waiting while Pasqual worked his magic from the magic earth.