Daily Life

Behind the Scenes of Bitossi

22. März 2020

A century of tradition and innovation in Montelupo Fiorentino, Italy

An enterprise that has made the history of Italian ceramics manufacturing

Present in Tuscany, in the Montelupo Fiorentino area, since the first half of the Nineteenth Century, Bitossi testifies to the excellence of a region in which the manufacturing tradition dates back to as early as the Thirteenth Century.

The Bitossi manufacture – now bearing the name of Bitossi Ceramiche – has belonged to the family for five generations and it has been located in the same headquarters since 1921. In 2014, it has been included in the Register of historic Italian enterprises.

Until the end of the 1940’s, the Bitossi production reflected the traditional taste bound to the local production. The company’s stylistic evolution began only afterwards, with the arrival of Aldo Londi: a man with an innate sense of creativity and aesthetics, and with an eye for the evolution of taste. Shortly after, Londi became Bitossi’s art director. Exported worldwide, his creations bear witness still today to the excellence of made-in-Italy design.

In 1955, architect Ettore Sottsass, together with Mr. Richards, an American distributor, visited the Bitossi plant for the first time. That was the beginning of a long and prolific relationship between Londi and Sottsass, leading to the creation of successful collections, in which the beauty of raw materials was enhanced by the high design content. Since then, Bitossi Ceramiche continued to collaborate with some of the most important figures on the international design scene who, fascinated by the company’s historical value and by the craftsmanship of their productions, have created unique collections.

The company – currently led by Cinzia Bitossi and under the artistic direction of her daughter, Ginevra Bocini, the last generation of the Bitossi family – has recently asked leading designers such as Bethan Laura Wood, Dimore Studio and Benjamin Hubert to reinterpret the company’s production and values. This year, this task has been entrusted to Max Lamb – British designer expert in materials processing, as well as ceramics enthusiast and collector. Another important sign of Bitossi’s creative breakthrough, marked by the arrival of Ginevra Bocini, is the new collaboration with Christoph Radl, who has been entrusted with the redesign of the company’s corporate identity, which shall combine the continuity of past affinities with the company’s future creative development.

Bitossi Ceramiche is part of the Colorobbia Group, which consists of internationally operating companies specialised in the production and distribution of raw materials and semi-finished products for the ceramics and glass industry. The holding company leading the Group is the eponymous Colorobbia S.p.A, a ceramics dye factory founded in 1947 and quickly becoming established for the production of raw materials (clays, glazes and crystalline glazes) for the decoration of ceramic, porcelain and glass, soon becoming a leading company in the ceramics sector as well as one of the most exported and renowned Italian brands worldwide, with international headquarters in Brazil, Portugal and Spain. The Group currently consists of 28 companies spread over 18 countries, setting the standards as international producer of raw materials and semi-finished products for the ceramics industry.

Founded in 2007 by Bitossi Diffusione, a company dealing in table and home accessories, the brand Bitossi Home is also part of the Colorobbia Group. The collections are designed by young creative talents, always pursuing ideas with a strong aesthetic character with versatility and elegance. While one one hand, the company’s production capacity has been devoted to the creation of iconic and timeless pieces, on the other hand, it has been channelled in the creation of a dynamic edition brand, which is able to offer its clients different collections every year.

Bitossi Ceramiche testifies to the historic excellence of artistic and design ceramics, as well as to the tradition and know-how that have made the worldwide fame of made-in-Italy products; while Bitossi Home stands out for being a dynamic brand, creating collections with an original and edgy character, always at the forefront of tableware trends.

In 2008, the passion and foresight of the Bitossi Family, led to the creation of the Vittoriano Bitossi Foundation – founded with the aim to establish, study and preserve the historic collection of the family’s own manufacture. The collection consists of 7000 ceramic artefacts, documents, photographs, projects and equipment dating back from the 1940’s until today. 2008 was also the year of the creation of the MAIB – Museo Artistico Industriale Bitossi (Bitossi artistic industrial museum), an exhibition section part of the Italian company museums itinerary, in the framework of the Italian association ”Museimpresa”. Due to an ongoing structural restoration, the museum is currently closed.

Images: PiotrNiepsuj, Delfino Sisto Legnani (1)

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