Everyday Life

Fall 2023

Sicilian head vases

In a ceramics workshop, some of our students created head vases in porcelain. The dramatic love story behind the head vases from Sicily is not for the faint of heart. The vases are called “Teste di Moro,” meaning the head of a stranger, and the story behind them is one of mystery, love, and jealousy. A young woman from the island and a foreign man fall head over heels in love with each other. However, when the man declares that he will return to his wife and children, she becomes consumed by jealousy and, on the last night they spend together, she cruelly cuts off his head. With the severed head in her arms, she goes out onto the balcony and plants basil in the head.

The students worked with techniques involving coloring, embossing, modeling, and the Japanese nerikomi. Porcelain is a material that retains every touch, making it incredibly challenging to control. It is also a material that allows for a unique color clarity.

The head vases were exhibited at KBH Kunsthal.