One lazy afternoon while strolling the cute streets of Lecce, we entered an unassuming shop. It was hardly recognizable as a shop from the outside. Inside Alberto and Dino were sitting and chattering away as if they have been waiting for our arrival all this while…
We did not know that we were looking at the portrait of an artist, until we started looking around the shop. I saw a print and immediately knew it would be mine. Maker turned out to be Alberto himself.
When people like each other no matter what the languages they can communicate. Though we know some limited Italian it was easy to connect with him. He told us about his art and showed us his books, prints, the printing machine and more.
Hard not to fall in love with culture, art, passion… we felt lucky that we walked in on this history waiting to be told and heard.
If you are visiting Lecce, drop by and say hello to Alberto and family. The shop is located at Via dei Perroni, 21 Lecce. If you are far away then follow him on Facebook at Tipografia Del Commercio Lecce.
We are two creatives who delight in making one of a kind art pieces, including jewelry and pottery. Excited to share our passion with you and hope every pieces you buy brings you joy and luck!
We have been busy busy in the studio getting ready for fall and winter. So much inspiration and excitement is building. We are primarily getting ready for two shoes that are coming up.
Curious what we are cooking up 😜 check us out:
1. Instagram: Shop LaBote see what comes out of our wheel and kiln first! Follow us.
2. Etsy: Shop LaBote purchase our art. Hope you’ll find something you love!
If you like some of our creations but you just want them in different color or shape or etc. we make custom orders to please our customers’ unique tastes.
Just added new products and a video on Instagram. Check it out!
Sadly, I did not have the pleasure of learning from him directly, but grateful somehow I caught the pottery bug and will continue on the tradition. He used to make his own clay, as my dad shares the stories. We are spoiled nowadays; just buy few pounds of whatever type clay you want and you are ready.
Pottery is not just wheel throwing, there are some many techniques and hand building. For example, I like combining the skills – throwing part of a bowl and finishing it off with hand building part of it.
Lately, I have found myself making lot of owls. Owls of every shape, size, and personality. This was a spontaneous inspiration, as very often I don’t set out to make a specific piece. Everyone has a style of working – some of my studio peers set off with a very specific idea like ‘I will make a carafe and two tumblers’. I arrive at the studio without a thought… the clay takes shape as I start playing, throwing, or hand building.
Ahhh… the world of glazing; it can make or ruin a pice of pottery. Luckily I do have a glazing muse, it’s called Nikita! A studio friend who has a magic touch with glazes. Usually a quick chat with Nikita results in picking the right glazes. Thank you Nikita!
This owl is called Frankie – the blue eyes reminded us of Frank Sinatra. It is handbuilt from ochre clay, hand painted, and then glazed. Isn’t it a hoot!!
Visit LaBote on Etsy to explore more unique art pieces.
Do what you love, and love what you do.
Three hours of fascinating information that left us wanting more. So much that she decided to schedule part two.
We started with basic chemistry, history of where all this came from, and what glaze is made of. People for centuries have been making pots and vessels. Jennifer and Allison showed examples of old and new to educate us. I am always so impressed by how amazing something made 5000 years ago is so much better than many made today. Especially some of the Chinese pottery and ceramic glazing is just exquisite. We also learned that salt glazing was invented in Germany. One day, I would like to go see it done where it was born.
Part of the lecture was spent critiquing glazed pieces we had made. Jennifer called out all the good and the BAD! You can see Isaac was a good sport about being made an example:
The tips and tricks we learned were great. For instance, how to spray a fine mist over areas you want a thinner coverage of glaze. Can’t wait to apply what we learned.
This turned out to be a great night where we bonded deeper over art. S bought 3 small canvases and brushes for acrylic paint. She also had snacks and wine all ready for us. Even the vino had sisterhood in the name.
Noooo, we did not just paint and talk art. We talked present and past relationships, glanced at the TV once in a while for March maddness – L is really into it. Clinked our glasses and planned an upcoming birthday for S.
I had not painted for a while. This certainly reignited my interest in painting, especially oil painting. Realized how much I miss it. Above all, this was such a meaningful way to spend time with friends.
These are the kind of nights where you truly get to know friends. Learn things you did not know about them. Feel blessed by their presence and having the opportunity to extend it back. Highly recommend this kind of exploratory, positive activity.
Got even more interesting when S read tarot cards for us. Never had that before; our cards were so spot on that it was a little scary.
As I received a few holiday cards, I could not help but admire how some cards were so thoughtfully crafted. I was surprised only because at this digital age where people break up via texting – we don’t expect to really receive cards. Grateful that I still know people who care to handwrite a lovely card.
Pictured above is a card that I just received, hand made by a friend; a simple stitch across the card and few snow flakes. This is the kind of card I will keep for a few years. I admit I occasionally write cards these days – but it’s due to being more selective. No need to send cards to people who will not care. That is a waste of good energy only to get sucked into a black hole. One of the paper companies I admire is the Winged Wheel. Just love their process, design, service, and quality. Wish I had more reasons to write cards so I would keep buying their paper works of art.
I hope you also received at least a few cute and thoughtful cards this season.
Surprise yourself by doing something you have never done – your brain and soul will thank you for it. Recently I did that when I took up pottery. This is by no means my best work but certainly has made me smile when I look at it. I had never done pottery before – my mind and imagination immediately grabbed onto it. Not a Deepak Chopra follower but I would like to think this is part of building a ‘super brain’ he keeps yammering about.
Btw… made Christmas gifts for friends with pottery. Next best thing to giving people your true self and time. So go ahead — try something you have never done!