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Walter Usai

Walter Usai Ceramicist
Contact
Italian, English
Hours:
By appointment only
Phone:
+39 3393411051
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The colourful wheel of life

  • • Walter uses traditions passed down by his ancestors
  • • His work celebrates Sardinian heritage
  • • He specialises in making ceramics on the lathe

To create his colourful ceramics, Walter Usai follows the waning tradition that’s been in his family for over 150 years. He loves using colour – the brighter the better – and collaborating with others to create original objects that are connected to Sardinia’s vibrant history. Walter began learning his craft from his father at an early age. Mastering all the techniques of the lathe, he is afraid that his life’s work, which has existed for a millennium, is destined to disappear. Regardless of the future, Walter gets great satisfaction from his trade, which to learn requires consistency, patience, and above all, humility.

Read the full interview

Works

  • © Confinivisivi Pierluigi Dessì
  • © Confinivisivi Pierluigi Dessì
  • © Courtesy Pretziada
  • © Courtesy Pretziada
  • © Courtesy Pretziada
Photo: © Confinivisivi Pierluigi Dessì
Brocca della Sposa

This sculptural clay jug with an enamel coating is based on a traditional Sardinian jug designed to hold water and also kept as a spiritual object for wedding celebrations. Flowers and ornaments cascade down the four handles of the jug, an auspicious symbol of abundance.

Height 40 cm

Walter Usai Ceramicist
Photo: © Confinivisivi Pierluigi Dessì
Gallinella

The form of this clay ceramic hen, considered a symbol of good luck in Sardinia, merges with the linear simplicity of the design. This sculpture, coloured with various hues of enamel, results from a series of works that sought to put aside the traditional intricate designs and keep only the essential contours of the auspicious figure.

Height 30 cm

Walter Usai Ceramicist
Photo: © Courtesy Pretziada
Langiu Vase for Pretziada

This vase results from a collaboration between master artisan Walter Usai and designer Sam Baron. Following a series of vases made with Mexican artisans, Sam continues his exploration into what makes an object belong to a certain region. This vase is a version of the humble terracotta water jug found throughout the world, throughout time.

Width 42 cm
Depth 24 cm
Height 48 cm

Walter Usai Ceramicist
Photo: © Courtesy Pretziada
Marria Vase for Pretziada

Walter Usai created this vase in collaboration with designer Valentina Cameranesi. The design of the vase plays with the traditional, elaborate nuptial vase gifted to young brides on the island of Sardinia. Inspired by the sensual shapes of Usai’s urns and the presence of flirtatious decoration in Sardinian ceramics, a duo has been created - Marria (slender) and Tunda (shapely), combining femininity and playfulness with a modern and mechanical touch.

Diameter 30 cm
Height 35 cm

Walter Usai Ceramicist
Photo: © Courtesy Pretziada
Siri Vase for Pretziada Studio

Once, the Romans and the Greeks used these vases as canteens, slung over their shoulders as they marched. Now, void of their function, they are decorated with intricate forms as well as patterns and placed in homes to be admired for their beauty. Each Sardinian potter has their own version.

Width 28 cm
Depth 6 cm
Height 37 cm

Walter Usai Ceramicist

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