Ali Matteini

a life creative

Lives Creative: Cinzia Bardelli, Ceramicist and Illustrator

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“Ceramics was love at first sight. I realised I could give my illustrations three dimensions.”


Cinzia Bardelli is a multi disciplined artist working mainly in ceramics and illustration. She studied at the European Institute of Design in Rome, where she obtained a Diploma in Illustration. Her designs are quirky, magical, whimsical, with a delightfully darkened edge.


Cinzia’s shop Ufficio Sogni Smarriti – in English: The Office of Mislaid Dreams – is set in the meandering heart of the old town of Arcidosso. As the name hints, the shop is a veritable maze of rooms from a dreamlike dimension.


Over several rambling, descending rooms, the atmosphere is aloof with the spells of old: a clutch of marionette descend like angels in a lit alcove in the medieval stone, while an ancient and very well dressed taxidermed fox offers tea from a wicker chair.


From the moment you walk through the door the shop boasts a life of its own, each room a character of intrigue, a multi-faceted persona.


For anyone who ever had the good fortune to visit Reliquaire in La Trobe in Tasmania (cue: heartbreak!), this space is reminiscent.




A keen collector of books and artefacts, Cinzia has curated her collections alongside her own illustrations and ceramics. The space itself owns a personality, each room a character of intrigue; one steps from Victorian scientific specimen displays to pagan talismans and Blair Witch-esque bundles of sticks, and on through forests of creatures that are the words of Poe and Grimm and Carrol personified.



A love of ceramics came from her late mother, an educator of fine art, though Cinzia herself arrived to it much later. After her mother passed, Cinzia came across the last loaf of clay she’d bought, and she took to it without instruction. It was love at first sight, when she realised she could create her illustrations in three dimensions. Cinzia is self taught, using online tutorials and blogs to acquire the technical know-how for working, glazing and firing her work.


Cinzia’s art and curation make for an eclectic mix – Jim Henson’s Labyrinth filmset squeals to mind! It scrambles the eyes and returns the heart to secret childhood adventures.


For more of Cinzia’s work in detail:
Visit her website
Like her Facebook Page
Visit her Etsy Shop

Find out about other Lives Creative of Monte Amiata – I’m adding to the list all the time. If you’d like to be featured here, please use the form below and I’d be glad to make contact with you and add you to our growing bank of creative people.



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A Presto,

Cheers and Ciao,

Ali 🙂

Image Alison Matteini ©

Image Alison Matteini ©

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