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A Story about Storytelling

In 2021, Clara Holt and Unurgent Argilla started a collaboration to narrate specific places through their combined styles of storytelling: materials and decoration.

Image: Nina Salsotto Cassina (left) and Sonia Pasquinelli (right)

Sonia Pasquinelli, aka Clara Holt, was born in Pescara, Abruzzo. She is an illustrator and a decorator. She completed her classical studies and has always had a passion for classical literature, Greek epics and the surrealist current, which guide her in her research and personal interpretation of her subjects. Each piece is a one-off, illustrated with a drawing inspired by places, mythology or childhood stories.

Nina Salsotto Cassina is an Italian ceramicist. In 2019 she founded Unurgent Argilla, focusing on material research of non-industrial wild materials. Unurgent Argilla is a vocabulary of wild materials, a study of what’s around us, repeated on spherical vessels, which she uses as a canvas to convey a spatial narrative. The final vases function as both signposts and autobiographical archival memories.

Together they are working on a series of vessels and tiles made and decorated with different wild clays and rocks collected throughout Italy. Each piece is thrown and the illustration is specific to the setting where the materials were collected. Their first pieces together focus on volcanic materials and Pantelleria, with scenes from the myth of Calipso decorated with rhyolite, smectite and basalts foraged on the island.

There is so much thought in these pieces, the strong voice of both artists still defined and yet also very much enhanced by the other. Both tiles are now packed and on their way to their new homes, I'm full of excitement for those that get to know them through living with them. 'Wild Volcano', a moonjar with wheel-thrown wild smectite clay foraged in Pantelleria and white slip, is currently still available and you can see more details and find out more via 'The Wild Collective'.



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