he pottery studio Laboratorio Paravicini is tucked away in a courtyard, in the historic quarter of the city of Milan. And every corner of this amazing little studio is filled with extraordinary hand painted ceramic plates; this is definitely worth a visit. Laboratorio Paravicini can be found halfway down the unmissable path, which goes from the Duomo to the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio. This sophisticated pottery studio aims at bringing back a charm and feel of times gone by, lost due to a rapid expansion of mass produced porcelain.
Laboratorio Paravicini started trading as a business almost by chance at the beginning of the nineties. At that time, founder Costanza Paravicini was looking for traditional ceramic plates for her four young children, like the kind which you remember for years to come, and just like the ones she cherished from her childhood. Furthermore, she was on the hunt for something suitable for everyday use and dishwasher safe. However, Costanza soon discovered that the thing she most wanted didn’t exist, being replaced in the home by mass produced porcelain. Therefore, she came to the unavoidable conclusion that the only thing left to do was to make her own plates. Initially helped by an old artisan, Costanza set up a small pottery studio in the courtyard of her childhood home, where she was born and raised and where she has always lived with her large family.
Today, her children are grownups and Costanza is a young and beautiful grandmother. With different jobs, all of her children and mainly her daughter Benedetta, a graphic and communication designer, help in the atelier. Recently, Laboratorio Paravicini has widened its scope: new plate series with either silk-screen or digital patterns have been added to the traditional-looking hand painted pieces. Even these new lines are made piece by piece, using own breed of extremely thin white earthenware clay. The foundation technique is the same; before a final glazing, patterns are directly applied to a bisque base and in this way, the pattern is permanent and nontoxic.
Throughout the years, Laboratorio Paravicini has purposely never grown in size. Its handmade production includes: plates, tea and coffee sets, centerpieces, vases, cachepots, chandeliers, ashtrays and bonbonnières, everything can be made to order. In 2013, Collezioni was born, a number of different limited edition plate sets in contemporary patterns. The most recent, by artist Vittore Frattini was made especially for the 2015 Milan Design Week.
Laboratorio Paravicini is a little gem, which takes us back to a bygone handcrafted tradition. And in this hectic age of industrial optimization and a flattening towards low quality, this studio is a beacon of hope. For the uniqueness and quality of its products, Laboratorio Paravicini is sought after even by the industry, fully aware of its limits. Furthermore, we are happy that Costanza Paravicini’s talent, creativity and passion have been rewarded by her success and therefore, it’s a given the plates Costanza made for her kids will remain in their memory for ever.