THE CERAMICS LABORATORY CERAMICS The ceramic laboratory was really the first laboratory of Michele De Lucchi, before he himself thought about laboratories and long before the idea of Produzione Privata was born. It was in 1987 during the Memphis period that he discovered this passion for the material ceramic and that he decided to design vases. He had no commissions and no idea who would be interested in this project, he knew only that he wanted to design those vases for himself. In the first stages he wanted to make vases with black and white designs. These projects distinguished the objects of Michele in the Memphis catalogue and all his laminate designs were in black and white, just as the corporate identity of his studio. In Veneto, the region where he was born and where he grew up, he found a small business in Nove di Bassano willing to make unusual objects which were not easy to make. It was in this way that he started to collaborate with Mrs. Dal Pra and the company Ceramiche San Marco, who also made objects for Memphis. The first indipendent objects already differed from those of Memphis because their style was less provocative, the forms softer, more sinous and the black and white decoration contained no trace of aggressive arrow forms or points. In the second phase Michele completely abandoned the decorative technique and he limited himself to making vases of the natural white colour of the ceramic material itself. ”...even today I would still make the ceramic vases white and I cannot think of doing anything different. It is a colour, it is not just white, it is a specific and magnificent material, and it can vary so much from clay to clay, from baking to baking…”. They were more or less the same forms but without any decoration. These vases represent the transition period between Memphis and Produzione Privata. His real vases for Produzione Privata appeared later: the large volume, the white simplicity and the forms so essential and harmonious, their presence is so difficult to ignore and they effuse their harmony in whatever surrounding. This imposing character of theirs also presents a challenge to the artisans. A considerable capability and conviction is required to manage and to bake vases of such large dimensions.