Marcello Massoni, Gaya Ceramic and Design | Bali | Travelshopa

 

Today we introduce Marcello Massoni, CEO of Gaya Ceramic and Design who not only found family in the depths of his passion for clay, ceramic and and design, but opened it up to a community of ceramic artists, all equally dedicated to the craft.

A couple in life and work, Marcello and Michela were bound by their common love for ceramics. Michela came from a background of sculpture, graduating from the Accademia di Brera in Milan, whereas Marcello is a Political Science graduate who found his true calling in ceramics, taking lessons from numerous international ceramic academies and ceramic masters. The prolific duo took residence in a little farm studio in the Spanish countryside, honing their craft. Their first collection, “Colorbruno”, caught the attention of Gaya Fusion’s director, Stefano Grandi, a visionary who had the foresight to welcome Marcello and Michela into the Gaya family and support their efforts to cultivate Gaya Ceramic and Design into the ceramic institution it is today.

Based in Ubud, Bali, Gaya Ceramics is home to a community of more than 70 artisans, who are absorbed in the exchange of expertise and the relentless pursuit of excellence in their craft. With this combined ability, Gaya creates about 5,000 medium-sized ceramic pieces a month, leaving room still for custom design projects that run the gamut from ceramic modular wallpapers, glowing porcelain illuminations, enigmatic sculptures, unique outdoor decorations, art installations and tableware.

A veritable wellspring of creativity, the Gaya Creative Office is an archive of a community’s dedication to the art of clay making. Scores of unique ceramic prototypes rest on shelves, waiting to offer inspiration and to be transformed into radical and exciting collections.

We try to put aside our fascination with the beautiful organic ceramic forms surrounding us and indulge in a quick chat with Marcello about his life’s passion.

Marcello Massoni, Gaya Ceramic and Design | Bali | Travelshopa

Marcello Massoni, Gaya Ceramic and Design | Bali | Travelshopa

 


 

THE BEGINNINGS OF GAYA CERAMIC & DESIGN.

Michela and I started our ceramic activity in 1990 in Piacenza, a small town 50km South of Milan. We lived in a little farm studio in our hometown countryside of “I Colombarini”, where we started making original sculptures and ceramic pieces (or limited editions) and conducting ceramic workshops.

We created our first ceramic collection in 1999 named “Colorbruno”. Bruno was taken from the name of our dog…an Italian Spinone. We presented this collection at a few international exhibitions like “Maison et Objet” in Paris and “Salone del Mobile” in Milan. The 2002 “Salone del Mobile” exhibition was also where we met Stefano Grandi, an Italian entrepreneur from Reggio Emilia. He invited my wife and I to join the Gaya Fusion team in Bali – an establishment that combines a contemporary art space, a restaurant and a string of elegant villas under its care.

Stefano and his partner, Nyoman (as Gaya Fusion) supported the ceramic project at its inception, allowing us to start a dream: to be able to be creative without limits, prolific in creations and commercially competitive in an amazing environment. We made the move to Bali in 2003 and have since been conscientiously working on Gaya Ceramic’s collections and projects.

Marcello Massoni, Gaya Ceramic and Design | Bali | Travelshopa

Marcello Massoni, Gaya Ceramic and Design | Bali | Travelshopa

Marcello Massoni, Gaya Ceramic and Design | Bali | Travelshopa

 

THE DAILY GRIND.

Gaya Ceramic and Design works with the client to create and develop exquisite designs and artworks to fit their specific needs. Because of that, we don’t have a definite catalog of items where you simply pick a specific design or colour. We, instead, prefer to develop new tailored creations in harmony with our client’s aesthetic and practical necessities. Combining intuition with inspiration, each product is painstakingly made by hand, fuelled by a drive for experimentation with different materials and techniques, the certainty of dexterous hands and flashes of spontaneous creativity. Our every day is a fusion of sure and unsure circumstances, predictions and uncertain situations…an infinite world of technical precision then mistakes, solutions and delusions, hard work, simplicity and happiness. For us, nothing is more lovely.

 

FINDING INSPIRATION.

We are constantly searching for the ideal expressions to translate the stimuli around us into objects that render original and fascinating forms, colours and moods. Being in Bali’s cultural embrace naturally leads to a cross-pollination of artistic tradition and technique. A great synergy exists between the land of Bali and our work and sense of being. Our creative exploration consists of tapping influences from landscape, culture, cuisine and architecture that cannot be found anywhere else but in Bali. The technical skills and aesthetic sensibility of the Balinese continue to astound me.

 

LIFE’S CALLING.

The Gaya Ceramic Arts Center is a new project of an old dream. Gaya Ceramic’s mission is naturally to create ceramic objects but also to preserve and promote craftsmanship, implementing the understanding and the appreciation of the “hand-made” process. With that goal in mind, we wanted to provide educational services and artistic support for ceramic culture. It was an idea that we’ve kept on our minds but never had sufficient help or resources to implement. It was by a great stroke of luck that we met wood-firing ceramic artist and painter, Hillary Kane, and found out that we shared the same dream of creating a “tropical” ceramic academy along with the establishment of a solid ceramic community. With her help, we started the Gaya Ceramic Arts Center, where we provide for a stimulating program of international workshops, courses and artist residences.

Marcello Massoni, Gaya Ceramic and Design | Bali | Travelshopa

Marcello Massoni, Gaya Ceramic and Design | Bali | Travelshopa

 

OTHER INSPIRING CREATIVES.

I find myself transfixed by Etienne de Souza’s work. He is a French designer of luxe furniture, living and working in Bali. His pieces combine natural exquisite materials such as mother of pearl, seashell, horn, bone and coconut shell into amazing organic-looking structures. I also love Quarzia’s beautiful silk handmade batik, which fuses Italian sensibilities with traditional Balinese craft to astounding effect. Ibuku shares a wonderful story – carving a sustainable future for Bali by designing and building innovative structures out of bamboo.

 

DREAM CREATIVE PROJECT.

I would love to work on a collection of ceramics for Italian fashion designer, Marni.

 

I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO…

Nothing more really… I’m happy with what I have and hope to maintain it.

 

BEST LOCAL GEM.

Bambu Indah, a boutique hotel in Ubud, offers the special experience of staying in an antique Javanese bridal home and is a great escape from the daily hustle and bustle.

 

BEST SHOPPING SPOT.

Simplekonsepstore. The unique space carries an extensive range of contemporary and design-led fashion, furniture and home accessories that are always inspiring.

 

MUST-SEE FOR TOURISTS.

The Gunung Kawi temple – an ancient temple carved out of living rock, is a real sight to behold.

 

CATCHING A BREAK.

On weekends, you’ll find me relaxing with my family at the La Taverna Hotel, which opens out onto breathtaking views of Sanur Beach.
Marcello Massoni, Gaya Ceramic and Design | Bali | Travelshopa

Marcello Massoni, Gaya Ceramic and Design | Bali | Travelshopa

Marcello Massoni, Gaya Ceramic and Design | Bali | Travelshopa

 


 

Gaya Ceramic and Design

Jalan Raya Sayan 105, Ubud, Bali, Indonesia 80571

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