Everything can be said about Franco Morini except that his ceramics is a mass, trivial or easy-to-understand one. This hairy and bearded ogre clearly states how much he owes to four great Faenza masters: solid plasticism from Augusto Betti, refinement from Panos Tsolakos, his boldness and unconventional approach from Alfonso Leoni, the sculptural shapes from Carlo Zauli. In his opinion, ceramics is something primordial, wild and natural to be encouraged rather than tamed.
This is what his folded steles recount, obtained from a mixture of different clays («they fight each other — says Morini — and I let them do so»). During the drying phase they become flabby, some cracks occur, a tearing on the edge or a fold in the middle part may appear. All things that would inevitably be considered as defects within an academic setting as well as in more conventional contexts.

Morini hates and makes fun of tradition, recoiling from the rhetoric of the «master who dominates earth, water and fire» (a formula which can be only useful to attract tourists or during folk events). As a restricted number of Faenza ceramists, he enjoys himself using dirty, contaminated, altered clays to achieve a rough and lumpy texture that makes us think about real earth.
Of course, nothing sugary, honeyed, or dewy can be expected from Morini – his looks are explanatory enough. Morini enjoys making ceramics. He enjoys tormenting the dishes just shaped by Piero Garavini’s lathe with a fork or any other blunt instrument, he enjoys making experiments on stoneware bodies and firing them at unusual temperatures, he enjoys playing with glazes and letting them running down, staining, dirtying. He enjoys using his accomplished technical skills to transfer the secrets he usually applies to tiles, industrial glazes – namely to the production sector – to decorative ceramics, which is exquisitely and nobly useless. Finally, he enjoys creating his containers for «oil vinegar and shit». Far from being the result of a misunderstood coprophagist pleasure or the desire to shock conventional people, they simply remind us that human beings too are made of earth, scrap, waste, shit.

Sandro Bassi

The works of Gian Franco Morini