biography

Marilena Bergamini attended the Art institute of Castellamonte and the courses of the Faculty of Architecture of Polytechnic School in Turin. She starts her artistic activity in 1979 applying herself to painting and graphic arts, but soon she takes an interest in the third dimension. During the eighties she creates huge surrealistic-abstract panels with acrilic paint, wax and wood. She designs and creates dance and avant-garde theatre costumes.Then, during a period of standstill, she matures an interest in geometrical progressions and the movement of pure shapes in space. She starts experimenting with various materials and in 1986 she chooses ceramics as her main means of expression.

She studies the composition and expressive possibilities of clays. During these years she decides to move from Turin to Silva of the S. Martino C.se near Castellamonte, renowned pottery centre, where she can work and develop her knowledge of the local refractory clays as well as decorative techniques. Her artistic research is attracted more by the potentialities offered by shape than by simple decoration and expresses itself by the production of large pieces of sculpture making use of mixtures of chamotte. She begins a phase characterized by teaching activities and cooperation with designers for the production of furniture objects in limited editions. Meanwhile her language develops more rigorous and in 1990 she opts for the formal exactness of large planes which lay emphasis on the rithmical movement of scansions and rotations.

In 1995 Mrs. Bergamini wins the INAX DESIGNE PRIZE, one of the most prestigious international awards in the field of design and ceramics. The sponsor, Inax Corporation, is a prominent Japanese manufacturer and a leading producer of ceramic artifacts and appliances: from traditional objects to the most innovative and futuristic ones. During an internship at the Inax Craft Studio of Tokoname in Japan, she carries on applied research experimenting with new materials and techniques and building upon her already vast experience as an artist and a designer with the help of a workshop equipped with state-of-the-art technology and a staff of highly skilled technicians. A selection of the artifacts and projects produced by Mrs.Bergamini during her stay at the Craft Studio is eventually put on show at the Inax Headquarters in Tokyo. In 1996 she creates a collection of special pieces for flooring and design objects which are characterized by an exclusive modular shape and an innovative processing technique: the works are now manufactured by SIRE, the leading Italian klinker producer. She also designs the prototypes for the related moulds and a series of special tiles for swimming pools. The products of this collaboration were on show at this year's CERSAIE fair.

Her industrial and architectural design research has now branched out into two main fields. The first is the study and creation of modular elements for both industrial and residential buildings as well as building conservation. The second activity is the design of variously shaped ceramic elements (tiles, bricks, slabs, etc.) for use as decoration in architectural contexts of rare value. Also active in recycling design and upcycling design. Teaching for children and adult at her Laboratoty Craft Studio in a beautiful forest. Workshop in sculpture, raku, molding, stamping, forming, use and build kilns, pottery, argilla, terra sigillata, resins, wood.

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