Antonino Negri (Lodi,) 1961: crafts his ceramic masterpieces in his workshop, “Terra Crea”. Earth, water, fire and air are the recurring primordial elements that permeate the archetypal forms of his production, where technical expertise and poetry merge. They are pure and perfect forms that tell ancient tales.
Tell us your story.
I started in the 1980s, after traveling for one year in South America, where I was able to live in places of extraordinary beauty with people of ancient cultures, such as the Indians of the Amazon. These trips have certainly enriched me with experiences and with the desire to “make”, giving me the opportunity to meet artists and artisans: so I acquired skills which are not just technical, but also human, to “make” art.
How and why was Terra Crea born?
The original name of my workshop was “La bottega del respiro”; it’s been a10-year work experience (from 1993 to 2003) within the Il Gabbiano community (of Pieve Fissiraga), which deals with the recovery of drug addicts. A true artisanal and artistic workshop, which helped people through ergotherapy. “Terra Crea” was created in Lodi after that time.
When I have a clay "bread" in my hands, I feel creative energy flow, but I also feel a sense of responsibility
At the center of my artistic work there is almost always the vase, as a place for the archetypal story
What is the poetry of your works?
At the center of my artistic work there is almost always the vase, as a place for the archetypal story. The vase that in its space can contain light, water, air, earth, and is in itself an infinite place in which to represent our tales.
What do you draw inspiration from, for the realization of your objects?
Inspiration often comes from making, and letting it flow... sometimes a small seed generates a large tree.
How do you feel when you "get your hands dirty"?
When I have a clay "bread" in my hands, I feel creative energy flow, but I also feel a sense of responsibility, because what you are about to model, will be irreversible once out of the kiln.
What is the most extravagant piece you have done?
Maybe it would take a lot of time to recall it... but I remember with pleasure the fountains made with "poor" materials that I made every year on the occasion of the summer solstice, with the help of the boys from the Bottega del Respiro.
What does it mean to be MAM?
An important acknowledgement that celebrates my work, and above all, the work of many other masters and artisans, which are fundamental for our culture.