Trader Profile-Puro Ceramics
As we mark the end of harvest season and move into the darker half of the year, we’re turning our thoughts to lighting the fire, getting cosy and enjoying beautiful things around us in our homes. We caught up with Fabio, the founder of Puro, who creates sumptuous ceramics inspired by nature.
With collections such as ‘Earth’ and ‘Lava’ Fabio celebrates bringing the outside inside, via simple and elegant tableware, captured here by photographer Ed Schofield. Read on to discover the origins of Puro!
Tell us a bit about you and your business.
I’m Fabio, the founder of Puro Ceramics, a small independent ceramic studio based in Frome. Puro Ceramics makes handmade tableware and functional objects for our homes using stoneware and terracotta. My work is inspired by nature and the beauty of a simple life. Puro products are characterised by organic shapes, natural imperfections, the tactile nature of materials and unexpected combinations of texture.
I grew up in a small rural village, Fivizzano in Tuscany, with a strong terracotta and marble sculpture tradition. Growing up in Tuscany instilled in me joy in the process of making. I have always found great joy in making and building things by hand – it came easily and naturally for me – perhaps because this surrounded me as a child.
The growing love of creativity invoked a hunger to explore, and I soon moved to Florence and after to London seeking a wider perspective. Over the twist and turns of the years that followed, I found myself stuck in my day job, in front of a computer unfulfilled, in a world that was going in a direction I couldn’t relate to – consumerism, disposable low-quality products, seasonal trends and so on. It didn’t feel real to me.
I realised I needed to reconnect with nature and a slower, more natural way of living and being. I found my new path through a love for food and hand-making, remembering that I used to cook, make pizza and bread, and build things by hand from an early age. Food is important to me, connection with nature and people through the ritual of food, being around the table and the joy of serving and experiencing a moment of presence whilst eating.
This new path led me to seek out ways to connect more deeply with the Earth, organic shapes and raw materials, ultimately leading me to the elemental world of clay and the craft of ceramics. Today, I create hand-built ceramics for your home to connect us around the table.
Where do you get your inspiration – what motivates you to do what you do?
I take my inspiration from nature and the land I come from. I saw lots of tableware around me growing up as a child, which got imprinted into my memory and worked as a source of inspiration for my work. Connection with nature is at the core of my work, and nature’s simplicity and beauty constantly inspire me. As opposed to the mass production culture, I’m motivated to create good quality and long-lasting tableware and home objects.
Why did you choose to come and trade at the Frome Independent?
I have been trading and visiting many different markets in London. Still, when I first visited The Frome Independent, I immediately was attracted by the excellent quality of the products, the fantastic vibe, the community feel and all the interesting people looking for great quality products for their homes.
What do you like about market trading – why not just sell online or through retail outlets?
I like to talk to people, receive feedback and listen to their needs.
Tell us about your own favourite or best-selling product. How much work goes into creating it, why do you think this is your strongest product?
My favourite is the new pizza plate (earth collection), and the best-selling is the black dinner plate (lava collection). Both processes are long and go through different stages – making the slab, cutting to the size, making the rim, smoothing the surface and waiting to dry out. After those stages, it’s time for the first bisque firing, the glaze, and the glaze firing. Eventually, it’s the brushing and cleaning stage, and they are ready to go! The earth collection takes a bit longer because I mix the clay myself.
What is your favourite Frome shop, or stall to visit at The Frome Independent?
Shops – Frome Hardware, Ground, Moo and Two and Frama. Wolfe Academy as a stall.
Two of my latest and favourite books are: Rich Roll – ‘Finding Ultra’, and Tony Riddle – ‘Be more human’.
Describe your dream day off
Swimming in the sea in Cornwall (or Italy).
What are you listening to right now?
Podcast: Rich Roll, Dale Vince Zerocarbonista – Music: Pink Floyd, Leonard Cohen, Vinicio Capossela, Jovanotti, Krishna Das.
What are you cooking/ eating / drinking at the moment?
Italian and Middle East plant based food. New eating addiction: handmade gluten- free pizza. I drink lots of Japanese green tea and herbal teas.
You’ll find Fabio on The Bridge in the Designer Maker section on market days – or head over to his website where you’ll also find delicious recipe ideas to adorn his stunning tableware!