Grottaglie A Ceramics Town – My Addresses

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0030

Grottaglie from the terrace of Mimmo Vestita Ceramics

All photos Copyright Carla Coulson 

Imagine a town that has survived for hundreds of years on making beautiful hand-made ceramics. Add a twist of Southern Italian charm, workshops dug into soft stone to form grottos (grottaglie – that’s where the name comes from) and hundreds of artisans turning clay into pots, jugs, plates, cups, saucers, statues and other works of art – then you would have Grottaglie.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0007

Ceramics  La Grotta Ceramiche  Copyright Carla Coulson

I discovered Grottaglie a couple of summers ago when Francesco and I were at the beach and it became too crowded so we decided to head inland for lunch (no Italian in their right mind would do this in August) but this is one of our tricks to finding something magical and real.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0003

Ceramics  La Grotta Ceramiche  Copyright Carla Coulson

And that is exactly what happened. We found the magical Grottaglie.. I could hardly wait to finish lunch to start snooping around the hundreds of ceramic workshops.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0001

Hand turned vases at Fratelli Ciro e Grazio Monteforte

And we didn’t walk away empty handed…

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0005

Hand turned pots  La Grotta Ceramiche  Copyright Carla Coulson

So when I started planning the Caravan Travel Photography Workshop I started to think of all the things I loved about Puglia and Grottaglie sprang to mind.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0011

Carmelo takes a break at Mimmo Vestita Ceramics

I decided to include the things I would do if I was to shoot a story on a region, include the things that I love, that visually excite me and I knew would make for interesting pics.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0028

Collection of antique water jugs Mimmo Vestita Ceramics

So back I went to Grottaglie and with the help of Francesca Frisa we toured many beautiful workshops and met many great artisans.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0035

hand painted plates in the workshop of Giuseppe Patronelli

Grottaglie has been inhabited since the Paleolithic age and is just up the rode from one of the first Greek settlements in Italy, Taranto.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0034

Wash basin Mimmo Vestita Ceramics

The local stone is called tufo In Italian and is soft enough to be able to dig into.  Since Medieval times there have been caves dug around what is now the castle and slowly they were taken over and used as ceramic workshops.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0032

Seconds on the terrace Mimmo Vestita Ceramics

Many finds around Grottaglie date back to the Classical age and the Museo Delle Ceramiche in Grottaglie has the whole story!

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0012

Mimmo Vestita painting at Mimmo Vestita Ceramics

But on any given day you can turn up in Grottaglie and walk the area known as the Quartier dell Ceramiche and go from one workshop to the next and see artisans turning clay, painting, dipping statues in white and creating every imaginable statue possible.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0036

 Paints and brushes at Giuseppe Patronelli

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0025

Ceramiche Domenico Caretta di Pietro Caretta

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0037

 Workshop of Giuseppe Patronelli

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0008

Antonio La of La Grotta Ceramiche  Copyright Carla Coulson

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0002

Exterior  La Grotta Ceramiche  Copyright Carla Coulson

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0017

 Fountain Casa Vestita

Whilst walking from workshop to workshop with Francesca she told me about Mimmo Vestita who had an incredible Mediterranean garden right in the middle of town and who recently whilst renovating the garden had discovered the floor of a Roman Villa and a byzantine crypt.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0016

Antique Mediterranean garden Casa Vestita

I had co-incidently seen his garden and crypt in the beautiful magazine Cote Sud and begged to have a look.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0014

Ancient wine pots in the  Mediterranean garden of  Casa Vestita

It was a garden like I had never seen before. So beautiful in it’s simplicity and it’s devotion to the Mediterranean climate, plants and his collection of over 4000 pieces of ceramic.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0021

 Mimmo Vestita in his splendid Mediterranean garden Casa Vestita

Mimmo generously opened his garden to the ‘Caravaners’ and kindly showed us the floor of the Roman Villa his renovator found whilst restoring the garden.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0018

Byzantine fresco in the crypt at Casa Vestita

He also lead us down in to the exquisite Byzantine crypt that had been closed for over 400 years.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0019

Part of the byzantine crypt at Casa Vestita

Whilst restoring another part of the garden and pulling away broken debris and trees the gardener found a carved column. They called in the archaeological society and together they went on a magical mystery tour and found a true treasure the underground crypt.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0023

 Grottaglie’s Mediterranean garden in front of the castle entrance.

If you are in Puglia don’t miss a visit to beautiful Grottaglie. She’s real, she’s artistic, she hasn’t been trussed up for the tourists and there are many wonderful photos to be had.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0024

A giant vase inside the Ceramics Museo della Ceramiche Grottaglie

The fabulous Ceramics Museum has a collection of ceramics from the beginning of time, it’s a journey through history and habits, of simplicity, decoration and form and…. it’s free.

Grottaglie Ceramics town Puglia Carla Coulson travel photography workshop 0031

 A view of the castle from Mimmo Vestita’s terrace

All photos Copyright Carla Coulson 

A giant round of applause to the all the artisans who gave their time and talent to us, who allowed us into their bottega’s to see how they work, create and maintain an ancient tradition. True southern hospitality at it’s most generous. I look forward to showing the participants work soon.

By the way, try leaving empty handed!

My addresses:

Casa Vestita

Via Crispi, 63

Grottaglie

This is a private Mediterranean garden and the best one I have seen to date. Mimmo Vestita, the owner has a ceramics workshop up the road and not long ago unearthed a Byzantine Crypt underneath his garden and the floor of a Roman Villa. He opens the garden to the public for a small fee in August from 6pm to 10pm and regularly has exhibitions of some of his 4000 pieces of antique ceramics. DON’T MISS IT!! Follow on Facebook here.

Mimmo Vestita

via Santa Sofia

Grottaglie

Mimmo’s bottega is up a little set of stairs and removed from the street but worth sourcing out. He sells beautiful objects for the home, vases and water jugs.

Antonio La Grotta Ceramiche

via Papa Leone XIII, 9

74023 Grottaglie

Antonio La Grotta comes from a long line of ceramists and still hand paints beautiful traditional design in all forms.

Guiseppe Patronelli

via Crispi, 23

Grottaglie

Specialises in hand painted plates and pure white dinner services (I bought one)

Fratelli Ciro e Grazio Monteforte

via Salita Camini, 1

Grottaglie

Beautiful Maolica pieces with colourful traditional designs

Cocci D’Autore

via Santa Sofia, 11

Grottaglie

Heavenly white statues dipped in white

Pro Loco Grottaglie

This is the local tourist office and one of the most helpful in Italy. This should be your first stop when you arrive in Grottaglie to gather information on what you are looking for and where to eat!

You can follow the fabulous Casa Vestita here

THANKS GROTTAGLIE, WE LOVE YOU!

signature

“Each has his own happiness in his hands, as tehartist handles the rude clay he seeks to reshape it into a figure; yet is is the same with this art as with all others: only the capacity for it is innate; art itself must be learned and painstaking”. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

Puglia – Masseria Cimino

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0059

 Ancient Olives Trees Puglia Copyright Carla Coulson

Long before you arrive at Masseria Cimino you are struck by the sight of ancient olive trees that resemble sculptures, twisted over hundreds of years with winds, run and the scorching sun.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0060

 Olive Trees Puglia Copyright Carla Coulson

These ancient olive trees have always been one of my favourite things about Puglia, a reminder of how old this land is and how deeply ingrained the olive tree is in the culture and history.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0063

 Masseria Cimino Copyright Carla Coulson

I decided to make Masseria Cimino a part of the first Caravan Travel Photography Workshop for a couple of reasons. I loved it’s exquisite make-over, not too flashy and not too rustic, somewhere in between.

And I knew it would make the perfect setting for the photographers to take interior and exterior shots and as a background to shoot food.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0045

 The sun beds copyright Carla Coulson

Masseria Cimino is an exquisite palette of white broken only by the local vegetation of cactus trees, olives and rosemary and the soft blue they have chosen for the doors, windows and furniture.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0044

 Entrance Masseria Cimino Copyright Carla Coulson

There is one original red wall and we all went mad shooting it.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0049

And Masseria Cimino has the coolest uniforms.. beautiful Viviana in her gorgeous uniform.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0053

The Bar Masseria Cimino Copyright Carla Coulson

The furniture in the interior of the bar has been constructed of concrete in the simple way they do in the Greek Islands and a clever interior designer has added lovely soft furnishings in white and beige. Cactus leaves hang as decoration in the main room. I learnt later on the trip this was a traditional custom, the Pugliese do this to conserve the fruit that grows on this plant so they can eat it fresh for months to come.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0054

 Details of the Cactus leaves Copyright Carla Coulson

I was a little bit excited about the cactus leaves!

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0046

Rooms Masseria Cimino Copyright Carla Coulson

Although I was teaching and didn’t have a lot of time to shoot it was such a graphic exterior to shoot I couldn’t help but grab a couple of shots on the hop.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0050

 Rooms Masseria Copyright Carla Coulson

I adore the textures of traditional stone paving, white walls dotted with blue and a grapevine for shelter. Divine colour palette..

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0056

Athalee Brown and a stone wall Masseria Cimino Copyright Carla Coulson

Workshop organiser Athalee Brown’s caftan matched the stone wall and cactus and I couldn’t resist a pic..

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0051

 Dining Room Masseria Cimino Copyright Carla Coulson

Masseria Ciminio has respected many traditional ways and incorporated them into the decor, design and food. Tomatoes hang in the dining room, food is served on locally made ceramic plates with beautiful white linen and the menu is ladened with local products.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0052

Tomatoes Hang in the dining room Masseria Cimino copyright Carla Coulson

I hoped you enjoyed a little glimpse into this beautiful space in Puglia. I loved staying here and if you are visiting Puglia you might like it too! You can check out their website here.

“There is a single thread of attitude, a single direction of flow, that joins our present time to its early burgeoning in Mediterranean civilization.Arthur Erickson

signature

PS: We are getting ready to announce plans for the Caravan Travel Photography Workshop in June 2015. If you would like to be the first on the lists please get in touch with workshop organiser Athalee Brown at info@carlacoulson.com

Are Your Photos of Movement a Disaster?

Kerrie Hess Carla Coulson

Kerrie Hess shot at 1/640 second on F4 copyright Carla Coulson

Do you love photos of movement but struggle with the technical side? Are your images too blurry when you don’t want them to be? Out of focus? Too frozen or there is too much camera shake?

I too love shooting movement especially people. It’s a big part of how I take portraits and create emotion so today I want to share a couple of tips.

1.  Depth of Field – So once you get someone moving such as walking or running they are generally moving in a range from a couple of metres to who knows where! To make sure they will be within your depth of field (the distance in focus as the camera sees it) choose an F-Stop such as F-11 or F16 (the higher the numbers the more depth of field).. This will give you a really wide depth of field from your focal point to infinity (i.e. lots of distance in focus). You will see in the above shot the F-Stop is F4, I wouldn’t recommend this if you are just starting out as the depth of field is very shallow. You can read more about depth of field here

2. Shutter Speed – This is your creative choice.  Your choice of shutter speed will depend on how fast your subject is moving,  whether you want a little movement blur or the movement to be absolutely frozen. In the above shot I have chosen a fast speed of 1/640 second as I wanted the movement frozen but as she was running I still have a little movement blur which I love. If I had wanted no movement blur I could have chosen a shutter speed of 1/2000 second. The slower the shutter speed i.e. 1/30 second the more movement blur, the higher the shutter speed such as 1/2000 second the more your movement will be frozen. More on shutter speeds here

3. ISO – Ok now you need to select an ISO that matches your above requirements. Dial up or down depending on your light conditions. The above shot was taken in mid-winter in Paris on a really low lit day. I had to go up to an ISO of 2000 to allow for a high shutter speed and that’s why I ended up using an F4 as I didn’t want to go any higher. As I mentioned above I recommend more depth of field when starting out. You can read more about ISO here

As movement is one of the key elements I use to create emotion in images and it is a technique I use everyday in my photography it will be a big subject at my Picture This Workshop along with many other of my shooting techniques and secrets.

If you feel blocked with how you are currently taking portraits, want to get out from behind the desk and get behind the camera or take steps forward to making photography a career you might like to join me and a great group of photographers at the Picture This Workshop in Sydney January 5,6,7,8 2015. It’s going to be a hoot! Last Places left..

If you have any questions about shooting movement leave me a message in the comments below and I will be sure to get back to you.

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do.” Steve Jobs

signature

 

 

Please share with others struggling with blurry pics!

What is your dream photography job?… Check out one of mine..

Harpers Bazaar Carla Coulson0001

All photos copyright Carla Coulson for Harper’s Bazaar

Gawd… After sunshine and blue skies on a Greek Island it’s hard to fly back into Paris to rain and 22 degrees but coming home to this story published in this months Australian Harper’s Bazaar made it all ok.

Have you ever asked yourself what your dream photography job (or one of them) would be? What ingredients you would throw into the recipe to make it just the way you wanted? Would it be fashion? Would it be portraiture? Would it be travel or a fabulous interior? Would their be dancing dogs and fairy floss?

Harpers Bazaar Carla Coulson0003

All photos copyright Carla Coulson for Harper’s Bazaar

I have asked myself this question often. Recently the phone rang with a fairy on the end of it (Harper’s Bazaar) and asked me whether I wanted to do one of my dream jobs?? I figured they must have hacked into my mind’s c-drive and pulled out all those delicious ingredients I had dreamed of, rolled them all together to form Carla’s dream job.

Harpers Bazaar Carla Coulson0004

All photos copyright Carla Coulson for Harper’s Bazaar

There would be a ramshackled Chateau, crumbling with paint peeling and faded ballrooms. A gorgeous woman and handsome hubby, there would be a stunning daughter and super cute son and BIG FROCKS with tulle and stuff! And there would be fashion pics and portraiture, interiors and exteriors and kookiness if I wanted it.

Harpers Bazaar Carla Coulson0005

All photos copyright Carla Coulson for Harper’s Bazaar

The reality turned out to be just like the dream. Everything they promised was there. The gorgeous Karina Waters of Chateau Gudanes  is not only a beauty but one of the nicest women I know and giggles a lot (bonus).  She and her hubby fell in love with this gorgeous pile in the midi-pyrenees and are in the process of renovating it.

Peeling wall paper still clings to the walls, hand-painted frescoes and beautiful balustrades guard the stairs and the music room is still adorned with gold. There were old tapestries waiting to go on the walls one day, glamorous French beds and pretty pink chairs.

Harpers Bazaar Carla Coulson0006

All photos copyright Carla Coulson for Harper’s Bazaar

So although I have been spoilt with jobs through out the years including many fashion jobs I truly loved with the heavenly Marta Innocenti Ciulli, this was another one to pop in my favourite memories hat. A favourite because I had the chance to use all the skills I have learnt throughout the years in fashion and interiors. Kind of like gobbling a whole box of Laduree macaroons out the front of the shop.

Another of my dream jobs will be sharing the skills I have learnt in fashion and portraiture this January 5,6,7,8  in Sydney at the Picture This Workshop where I will show you how to create emotion packed portraits with a fashion twist just like on these pages. All details here .

So if you are feeling stuck, trapped in a job you don’t like and want to acquire the skills to take your portraiture to the next step this workshop is designed to do exactly that.

What would your dream photography job be? What ingredients would you stir into it if you had the choice? I would love to hear your thoughts and dreams..

“Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” Harriet Tubman

signature

 

 

PS: Please share with other dreamers

Puglia – Heavenly White Villages

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0014

View from outside our classroom of beautiful Martina Franca

I was bewitched by Martina Franca and her white village cousins on my first trip to the Valle D’Itria years ago. So taken with it that I made it our base for the first four days of the Caravan Travel Photography Workshop this June.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0015

The Caravan travel photography workshop started in the hillside town in the Valle D’Itra of Martina Franca. If you love Baroque architecture you will love Martina Franca. Every door, archway and facade has been carved in stone with loving care and as the local mayor explained to us, even the most humble doorway is baroque.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0042

A magical lampost, a blast of sunshine and a local.

blue doors

Blue doors, white stone and ornate door frames.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0005

I loved this window that I saw each day from my terrace just needed Sophia Loren to pop out of it.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0030

A little boy comes out to see what I was up to.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0043

This man is a local legend in Martina Franca. He runs the gorgeous Cafe Tripoli which is a historic cafe and at seventy something is up at 5am most days to serve coffee and charm his clientele. Love Vito!

white streets

More baroque streets in Martina Franca.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0033

Whilst out scouting for the workshop I pulled into a beautiful Masseria above and found this handsome man working there.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0026

A fab archway in Martina Franca

carla coulson

Ceglie Messapica getting ready for the big procession..

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0034

The locals at Bar San Antonio in Ceglie Messapica..

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0019

A flower lined street in the historic centre of Ceglie Messapica

white steps

A corner of Ceglie Messapica and the lady that in lucky to live there.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0035

I adored this wall and the tea towel drying in the sun.

church

The basilica of San Martino in Martina Franca.. A baroque feast.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0041

Hanging the washing out in Monopoli.

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0021

Waiting for the procession in Ceglie Messapica

Carla Coulson Caravan travel Photography Workshop0031

I couldn’t resist these two.. All photos copyright Carla Coulson

Puglia was kind and gentle to us photographers, the locals opened their arms and hearts and showed us what true Southern Italian hospitality is all about.. Puglia Rocks!!

“Travelling is the ruin of all happiness! There is no looking at a building after seeing Italy.” Fanny Burney

signature

 

 

PS: We are getting ready to announce the 2nd edition of the Caravan Travel Photography Workshop. If you are interested and would like to be the first on the list for 2015 please get in touch with workshop organiser Athalee Brown at info@carlacoulson.com

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...