In the past, the firing kilns used a combustion system. The free flames risked damaging the decoration on the ceramics and therefore they used to be placed in protective fireclay containers, known as “houses”, as illustrated in the 16th century by Cipriano Piccolpasso in “The Three Books of the Potter”. Some fragments of this type are housed in the Regional Ceramic Museum . Nowadays they are considered more practical than artistic, but they are still fashionable.
This set of trays recalls the shape of the traditional “houses” for firing maiolica, where the openings have been interpreted as handles and embellished with a handgrip of cashmere thread. One of the illustrations in Cipriano’s books gives the recipe for the red pigment and another shows the muffle kiln used for the typical lustre technique in the town of Gualdo Tadino. These have been reproduced on the bottom of these trays.