16A-2023 – Gabriele Tognoloni – Pit firing and Bucchero

April 16 – 22 2023

Transformation through fire

For all

16A-2023 – Gabriele Tognoloni  – Pit firing and Bucchero


This workshop is an exploration of the transformative power of fire. In a backward journey, we will return to the zero point of technology in firing clay, experimenting with two different, ancient methods: Pit firing and Bucchero. The spirit of our research is expressed by a quote by Enzo Cucchi:

“Everything that is defined as ‘ancient’ and that comes down to us is contemporary”

The techniques

The most ancient structures for firing of ceramics were impermanent and in the open air, with pieces fired in direct contact with the fuel. We will experience with two distinct methods, Pit firing and Bucchero. Pit firing is the oldest known method for the firing of pottery where the unglazed surface achieves fascinating patterns and colours in the process. Bucchero is the name of a class of ceramics produced in Tuscany and central Italy by the region’s pre-Roman Etruscan population. Its black glossy surface is obtained with burnishing and a firing immersed in charcoal.

The programme

We start by modelling, then burnishing our pieces, using a white low fire clay. Before firing, we may decorate the Bucchero surface and, in the case of Pit firing add various organic and non-organic materials. These will produce reducing fumes capable of colouring our ceramics, giving it an archaic, yet contemporary flavour. The firing itself will last for several hours, with students checking on the fire in turns, always under the supervision of Gabriele. On Friday, we will enjoy a convivial feast around the last firing, unearthing the pieces from the ashes on Saturday morning.

The teaching method

Both the Pit firing and the Bucchero will be introduced by interesting presentations. Throughout the course, each step will be explained with that clarity that comes from many years of experience. Students will be actively involved in the firing, starting with the preparation of the special box for the Bucchero and the preparation of the firing pit.


The course is taught in Italian and English. A  delicious lunch will be served every day and acommodation is included in the price. This course is for all.

The Artist

Gabriele Tognoloni was born in Gubbio (Umbria). He graduated in sculpture at the “Belle Arti” Academy in Perugia, completing his training at the historic ceramic company “Ceramiche Aldo Rossi” where he specialized in the Bucchero technique. He lives and works in Milan and Gubbio where in in the historic city centre in 2009 he opened Unico a studio and gallery. His work has been published in various magazines and is found in public and private collections of many countries in Europe, Canada and the United States.

Find here an Article published in New Ceramics about Gabriele Tognoloni’s Bucchero: WORKS IN BLACK

Instagram: @unicoceramica fb: unicoceramicacontemporanea


Gabriele Tognoloni


Sunday April 16 ( arrival) – Saturday April 22 ( departure) 2023


Bucchero, Pit firing, Handbuilding


For all levels

Deposit for booking:

€ 500

Total price:




The workshop fee includes the following:
Tuition of 6 – 8 hours per day;
Studio open 11 hours per day;
All materials and firings;
Lodging in shared double room; single room on request at additional fee of 230 euros per week;
Shared kitchen facilities and shared bathroom.
Freshly prepared three course lunch with wine on all working days;
Welcome breakfast, Welcome and Final dinner;
Coffee break in the mornings and in the evenings.

Payment and Refund Policy

A deposit is required at registration. After submitting the registration form, you may proceed with the payment on-line. If you choose to pay by bank transfer, the registration will be confirmed once the deposit has been accredited in our banking account. The balance must be paid at the beginning of the course.

You may withdraw within 14 days of registration without incurring in any penalties and will have the deposit fully refunded.  No refund of deposits past 14 days of registration, pursuant to articles 53 and following of the EU consumer protection legislation.
If La Meridiana cannot hold the course due to unforeseen events beyond our control, La Meridiana reserves the right to offer a voucher for a different course of your choice. The voucher is valid for two years. The deposit will be transferred to the new course.


La Meridiana is equipped to comply with the current safety standards regarding Covid-19, including social distancing between people in and outside the studio. The daily maintenance of hygiene measures is guaranteed.  Please note that participants will be required to follow the security protocol and to comply with some simple precautions.