Natalie Sytner, Founder of Bettina Ceramica, joins us for the latest instalment of Curated By…
A celebration of traditional Italian ceramics, Bettina Ceramica presents ‘a curated edit of rare and exceptional pieces, both classical and contemporary’. Inspired by her Ligurian mother, Bettina, Natalie has travelled across the country, from Sicily to Veneto, in search of the families that have produced these ceramics for generations, showcasing independent artists, makers, and factories from all across Italy in her edits.
Here, Sytner shares her curation philosophy, and tells of how a road trip around Northern Italy with her dad sparked the idea for Bettina Ceramica.
How did you get into curation?
I have always loved traditional Italian homewares; we always had beautiful pieces around our home when I was a child. I had the idea on a road trip around Northern Italy with my dad in 2018 – I was stopping everywhere I could, trying to find small, family run ceramics workshops. I wanted to find all the pieces my mother had bought, but for my new home in London. I met, and was introduced, to some incredible people and the idea for Bettina Ceramica was born.
What is your curation philosophy?
To create a modern edit of unique and handmade traditional ceramics made by Italy’s finest artisans.
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How would you describe your aesthetic?
Classical and contemporary. Most Italian ceramics are ornate and very colourful. I love to keep to the original designs but commission them in white or off-white, like my Limoni Bowl.
Where do you get your inspiration?
Photos of my childhood travels in Italy; my mother Bettina; memories of our family home; and making a new home for my family now in London.
Tell us about some of your favourite artists and makers…
All of my favourite makers and workshops in Italy are generations old, I mostly work with the grandchildren of the original artists. They’re often based in quiet towns that are bursting with creativity and culture. Every trip is better than the last!
Some of your favourite places to shop for/source homewares…
Aram Store, Spazio Leone, Vinteror, and eBay are my go-to’s.
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How does travelling influence your designs and tastes?
One of my favourite things is visiting my dad in his small and very ‘real’ town in Liguria. I love to see everyday life there, how ceramics are everywhere; antique tiles, Madonna’s and shrines, Holy water fonts, huge terracotta pots – they’re so normal to see.
What are some tips you have on how our readers can bring a touch of Natalie Sytner/ Bettina Ceramica into their homes?
Some of my favourite pieces are my wall hangings. I love to use the pieces in the place of a painting on the wall – or in unexpected places.