How to choose ceramic dishes: tips and tricks

How to choose ceramic dishes: tips and tricks

Passau is a pretty baroque town in Lower Bavaria – Germany – at the crossway of three famous rivers: Danube, Inn and Ilz. That is why it is also called Dreiflüssestadt or “City of Three Rivers”. Home of a notable University, the town is surrounded by rolling hills and forests. Driving up one of those narrow country roads, we reach Hans Fischer’s house where, until some times ago, you were welcomed by sheep, goats, chickens and a horse. Next to the house, in Hans’ workshop, there is always a coming and going: his five children visiting, students from all over the world attending Hans’ courses at the University of Passau, interns, customers buying ceramics, friends, other artists coming in for a beer (we are in Germany!) and conversing about art and philosophy. Time and space in this place assume a different dimension and meaning. Far from the frenzied cities but very close to Munich, where Hans often goes for his exhibitions, life has a natural rhythm. Hans is an eclectic and surrealist artist whose ceramic works range from dishes, to tableware to sculptures that are displayed in select museums and galleries. We catch up with Hans to better understand how he produces his beautiful ceramics and to understand important things to consider when buying a ceramic dish. “We start by making the clay, literally, as we buy raw clay nearby, mix it, then store it, as it is better when it has time to mature. Ceramic is completely made of natural materials, compared with Bone China that has synthetic elements in it. Resting time is also important: artisanal works take time!...

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How to Throw the Perfect Cocktail Party

How to Throw the Perfect Cocktail Party

On one of my recent talent scouting trips around Italy, I met Maurizio Gallo.  When I travel, I am searching for the finest ceramic artisans and boutiques. I met Maurizio in Sciacca, Sicily, which is known for its artistic ceramic production.  Sciacca also boasts Sorelle Perconte, creators of Arcobaleno, an exclusive collection for DishesOnly. Maurizio is the Chief Barman of the Verdura Resort’s Granita Bar.  While watching the sun set on the Italian sea from an exquisite outdoor terrace, Maurizio opened up about his job. Everyday he meets many people, including tourists from all over the world.  “The Bartender is a psychologist.” Maurizio said.  “Everybody confides in me. I listen carefully and prepare for each customer for the perfect cocktail, resulting in a relaxing and happy evening.” Here are his secrets for a trendy Aperitivo. Ready to impress your guests? 3 simple rules to throwing the perfect cocktail party 1. “To each his own”, to cite the book of the famous Sicilian author, Leonardo Sciascia.  Try to match personalities with the right cocktail. Here are some examples:  007 Types. For very self-confident people serve Cocktail Martini or Negroni City Slickers. Entertaining an urban crowd in vacation mode?  Serve long drinks like fruit cocktails or muddled mojitos. Sex and the City. Joyful and eclectic crowd? Serve up Cosmopolitans. One of Maurizio tricks: to hold up the straw on the glass, put some ice on it!   2. Choose the right glass.  Once you have decided who is going to drink what, the next step is to choose the right glassware. The International Bartender Association (IBA) lists over 60 official cocktails with...

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The Smartest Spring Cleaning Ever

The Smartest Spring Cleaning Ever

Are you ready for the spring-cleaning marathon? Yes! Because every year, between March and April, no matter if you live in Rome or in Boston, there is a recurring event: clean up the whole house! And for this effort you absolutely need athletic preparation, strength, agility and power. Climbing up and down the ladder, scrubbing the floors, washing window screens, shampooing carpets and waxing parquets is a healthy exercise 😉 and makes you save the money at the gym. Turn up the volume of your favorite playlist and sing sing sing while getting the job done. Whether you have only a weekend or a whole week ahead, get organized. Before you begin, make a to-do list for every room. There are a lot of excellent tips and a printable checklist on line. Our favorite is the one of Martha Stewart, which is very detailed and extremely helpful. Don’t panic and consider the spring cleaning not as a physical and grueling task but as an opportunity to renovate and refresh your house. The Cathartic Effect of the Spring Cleaning In Italy we traditionally refer to the spring cleaning as the Passover Cleaning. The meaning of this ritual comes from the Hebraic obligation to eliminate every trace of yeast and dust from the house in order to celebrate the holiday – a real rite of purification of the body and the soul. Make our home clean, empty the drawers, let some fresh air in, was considered since a long time ago as a way to change our lives for the better. Moving forward to our day there are two passwords in...

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6 Spring Table Decoration Ideas

6 Spring Table Decoration Ideas

Days are finally getting longer, temperatures are shyly, yet steadily, increasing and we begin to “feel and see” the sweetest and fragrant season of the year: Spring. Spring makes everybody feel a little sweeter, arising “pastel feelings” and cheering us up. Just like bears coming out from hibernation, we are much more willing to spend time with friends. And even the home table cannot wait longer to cheer up the guests with warmth, freshness and joy. After eight months of the orange and grayish colors of autumn and winter, there is an explosion of more than a thousand flowers– colors – perfumes. In Spring fantasy plays with the mise en place, inspired by the wealth and generosity of nature. In theory there is no limit to your imagination; you could even accept a “Marie Antoinette style” mise en place, with snow-white tablecloths and triumphs of flowers and fruits provided en plein air, which means in a bucolic choreography with lots of sheep and soft grassplots. Everything is a tribute to nature that can be express in every of its nuances and colors on the table, in the choices of the tablecloth, napkins, glasses, cutlery; in short, every element of the table is invited to recall the chosen color. In spring flowers are the “guest stars” on the table. They can never be missing, either as a centerpiece that echoes the nuances of the other elements on the table, or as fresh arrangements to spread with nonchalance on an imaginary grass. In short there is an endless array of different ways to dress up the table but only one mood...

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Dordas Flower: an address not to miss in Rome.

Dordas Flower: an address not to miss in Rome.

Some weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me a curious question, “Where can I find these beautiful dishes that I see on dishesonly.com?” I then started thinking of locations that would be suitable to accommodate our products. After some searching, my dearest friends, I am happy to inform you that, starting today, you can find some of our most elegant and exclusive dinner sets at Dordas Flowers, a charming shop in the center of Rome. If some of you don’t know Dordas yet, let me introduce him. Mr. Dordas is one of the very few top floral designers in Rome. He makes gorgeous floral displays, unique bouquets, innovative centrepieces, and unforgettable tablescapes and event arrangements. We are proud to collaborate with him and have such a wonderful space to display our collections. Flowers and porcelain get along perfectly. Better yet! Dordas’ taste is unique and matches our passion for exclusivity and elegance.  The next time you’re in the city centre, or if you need flowers for a special occasion, make sure to check out the shop located at Largo del Teatro Valle 5, a stone’s throw from Piazza Navona. It’s a truly a magical setting full of color and magnificent flowers.      ...

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