Richard Ginori 1735
When talking Florentine craft, it’s impossible to not mention one of the best of the best: the fanciful hand-painted ceramics of Richard Ginori 1735. The ceramic giants originated all the way back in 1735 with Carlo Ginori in Sesto Fiorentinto outside Florence, where it flourished until 1896 when it merged with Società Ceramica Richard of Milan, taking on its current name.
Being one of the earliest artisans to work with the newly discovered “white gold,” a white clay mineral found in Kaolin, China, Richard Ginori pushed its manifattura to the greatest limits in creating unique shapes, beautiful prints and patterns, and most importantly, that ultra-durable finish that makes porcelain perfect as sturdy but beautiful heirlooms. Throughout the 19th century they also pioneered in innovations like oven-safe porcelain, and many important tools for scientific laboratories, as well as new lines of homewares for every occasion—from the finest of dining experiences, to the everyday table tops.
The handmade, hand-painted porcelain is some of the finest in the world, with generations of craft and tradition behind every piece. But in 2013, the brand was losing steam, that is until Gucci stepped in with an investment to keep the Italian heritage brand running strong under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele.
Since the Gucci takeover, the brand has done some amazing collaborations (for the likes of Missoni and Barneys, to name a few) but has still maintained all of the integrity of the craftsmanship of the original manifattura of the last four centuries. Each step of the intricate porcelain process in done under one roof, with artisans who have been working in these methods for generations. With tools that are practically extensions of their own hands, these fine makers carry on a wonderful tradition of some of the most elegant, experimental, and down-right gorgeous collections of porcelain in the world.