Clelia Tondini, ceramic artist, clearly has
the most enticing spaces in Cortona, and that is no easy feat. Many of her works
are on display in Semi d’Arte in Cortona’s central Piazza della Repubblica, but
her workshop-cum-gallery half way down (or up!) via Guelfa – is truly a
treasure trove of her works: make sure to take a breath before you enter -you’ll
Originally from Milan, Clelia first came to
Cortona in 1993 to participate in a group exhibition at the Fortezza di
Girifalco, as a painter. She immediately felt as if she belonged: “Cortona was
my soul”. She returned briefly to Milan to collect her son and belongings so as
to embark on her Cortonese life. Curious
and enthusiastic by nature, Clelia is a firm believer in following her
instincts, and that there is always a right time, a right place and that life
will work out ok.
With a background in painting and a love of
colour, Clelia was introduced to ceramics in 1994, and guided in techniques and
materials by a series of potters for whom she has great respect and gratitude.
She further developed her own techniques, particularly with her painting on clay
forms, characterized by her research into ways of moving an object from its
static structure to something that is dynamic, unique and special.
gaze meets 'the gaze'...
look for it on the faces, predominantly female, that I have encountered or
simply imagined along the way.”
enjoyed decorating these glasses with Japanese brushes created for me by a dear
of them, always different”
In 1997, Clelia held her first solo
exhibition – and unbeknownst to me – I was the very first person to buy one of
her artistic creations. Encouraged by the success of the exhibition – for both
her ceramics and her paintings – she found a new sense of being.
In 2001, she opened her first shop that she
ran until 2007 when she sold it to dedicate her time to her – by then – 3 kids.
After a break of 4 years, in which she undertook a course in psychology and
astrology, a friend/sculptor proposed that they took on a shop together. The
initial firm “NO!” within a week did a complete 180° and she opened her
studio-cum-gallery in Via Guelfa 22 and has never looked back, living
exclusively off her own art.
Inspired by Cortona and its surroundings,
you can walk into Clelia’s at any time, and find her mixing pigments,
discovering new hues, creating her unique pieces. “It is a continuous enjoyable discovery”.
Semi D'Arte shop in Piazza della Repubblica
Semi d'Arte in Piazza della Repubblica