This central question has driven Pietro Elia Maddalena throughout his career as a ceramic maker, a builder, and as the visionary of an educational facility dedicated to the ceramic arts.

Culture is the term by which we refer to a wide range of human activity, which has sustained, enriched and developed civilisations since prehistoric times. The quest for beauty in the meticulous forming of vessels, figurines and tools, is evident throughout the history of mankind.

In this context, we believe that it is important to offer opportunities to young people where they can develop the rich range of ceramic techniques available. A learning experience, where they can evolve ideas for personal production and expression with a focus on function and beauty in all its ceramic diversity.

The Pietro Elia Maddalena Scholarship

The Pietro Elia Maddalena Scholarship is granted every year to a potter or pottery student between the ages of 18 and 35 who demonstrates exceptional merit and promise. With this scholarship, the founder of La Meridiana intends to contribute to the growth and understanding of ceramics, specifically in functional pottery. It is useful to know that the scholarship will be awarded to a person who is training and working in the field of functional ceramics.

The grant allows the candidate to participate in On Centre, our three-month intensive programme that takes place January through March every year. It will pay for a significant part of the course fee, while a further portion will be paid through work exchange, with a final balance to be paid by the scholarship recipient. Application for this scholarship is open every year between May 1st and June 15th.

 The Mimi and Robert Dopson Scholarship

Through the generous funding of Mimi and Robert Dopson, this scholarship is made available to a young Italian potter or a potter living in Italy. The long-term scholarship enables the recipient to participate in all the activities of La Meridiana’s workshop programme. Not only does it offer an insight into the wide variety of contemporary ceramic making techniques, it equips him/her with skills, tools and ideas for a viable future in ceramics. Beyond making and material, the experience includes the training of skills related to the running of an educational ceramics facility.

Mimi and Robert Dopson live in Marfa, Texas. After raising their family in Austin and retiring from a successful dental practice, the couple turned to ceramics. Through observation and hard work, they learned from the masters, finding satisfaction in the practice of ceramics. La Meridiana is honoured to have had them as students for many years and is proud of the trust they have demonstrated in our institution. We are grateful to be able to offer this opportunity to a young Italian ceramic maker through their generosity.