On 19th September Ceramika Maltija will be celebrating its 60th Anniversary.
Situated in the grounds of Villa Bologna, the Pottery was established in 1952 by Cecilia de Trafford, daughter of Lord Strickland. She engaged the British potter Charles Bone with his wife Sheila Mitchell, the sculptress to set up the factory. When in 1954, her son Gerald returned from abroad she handed over the management to him and by the 1960s over 20 workers were employed , including some of the pioneers of contemporary Maltese Ceramics such as Ganni Bonnici and Nevil Ferry . In 2009 Gerald passed on the management to his son Jasper de Trafford who returned to Malta from working in the UK to commence an extensive regeneration project. Three years into the project major changes can be seen with the gradual renovation of the premises and reorganisation of production methods . Today the Pottery also offers clay classes, art lessons and organises children’s parties.
As with the original 1950’s production, most of the ceramic work is slip cast white earthenware. This is underglaze painted by the Ceramika Maltija artists with brightly coloured fruit and fish designs, scroll patterns and lace sgraffito which are all clear glaze fired for a durable surface. Dolphin and pineapple lamps continue to be very popular with customers as do dolphin jugs, piggy banks, religious plaques, house names and numbers plates.
Event details and pictures of the ceramic work can be seen on the Ceramika Maltija Facebook page and on their website www.ceramikamaltija.com.