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© Umberto Astarita
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Marcello Aversa

  • Ceramicist
  • Sorrento, Italy
  • Master Artisan
Marcello Aversa Ceramicist
Italian, French, Spanish
Monday to Saturday 9:30 - 13:30/16:30 - 20:30
+39 0818771535
© All rights reserved

A family affinity with clay

  • • Marcello respects local traditions and customs
  • • His biggest crib was 100 square metres
  • • He mastered his techniques through practise

Introduced to clay by his father when he was a kid, Marcello Aversa started working very early in his family’s workshop, which has produced bricks for wood-burning ovens for many years. When he was a young man, he understood that the Neapolitan crib was his greatest passion and he wanted to keep alive this local tradition. So he travelled across the Sorrentine peninsula making cribs for churches and sanctuaries, at the beginning using nativity figurines made by others. But at a certain point, he retrieved his father’s savor-faire and he started modelling clay by himself to make very tiny figures (from 8 mm to 12 cm tall) and creating complex nativity scenes.

Read the full interview


  • © Valerio Gargiulo
  • © Max Mandel
  • © Valerio Gargiulo
  • © All rights reserved
  • © All rights reserved
Photo: © Valerio Gargiulo

This ceramic sculpture of the Annunciation has been modelled from terracotta. The Archangel Gabriel, on a cloud, announces the coming of Jesus to Mary. The two figurines carry two warning signs in their hands: the cross and the diadem with which Mary will be crowned Queen of Heaven. The vine climbs up the columns, in the Bible, a symbol of wellbeing, fertility and blessing.

Length 38 cm
Width 18 cm
Height 55 cm

Photo: © Max Mandel
Flight to Egypt

This sculptural rendition of the Flight to Egypt is hand modelled from terracotta. A figurine shows Joseph on the way to Egypt, while Mary observes Jesus. Another, from a wicker cornucopia, anticipates the way, throwing flowers down. The vegetation is characteristic.

Height 20 cm
Diameter 40 cm

Photo: © Valerio Gargiulo
Lux Familiae

This hand modelled terracotta candle holder recounts the story of the family of Nazareth through 12 scenes ranging from the birth of Mary to the death of Joseph. The work is decorated with flowers and leaves and allegories of cherubs. The sculptural candle holder was made on the occasion of the Synod of the Family, and presented to Pope Francis.

Height 100 cm
Diameter 30 cm

Photo: © All rights reserved
Adoration of the shepherds

The Nativity, hand modelled by Marcello Aversa from assembled terracotta elements, is placed at the foot of a dilapidated pagan temple, a symbol of the advent of a new religion, which arises from the ruins of paganism. The brick arches and opus reticulatum lead back to the archaeological excavations of Pompeii and to Villa Pollio Felice of Sorrento.

Length 35 cm
Width 18 cm
Height 55 cm

Photo: © All rights reserved
Jesus was born on the Amalfi Coast

This hand shaped terracotta sculpture pictures the birth of Jesus, set in a typical landscape of the Sorrento coast, with vegetation, tuff farmhouses and costumes. A bridge joins the profane part to the sacred one, the water that flows underneath, washes sins and purifies all those who arrive in front of the grotto.

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