We never thought we would have to publish this magazine in such dark and confused times: the darkness and chaos that are produced by a sudden, abrupt war - - incomprehensible - - not only in the eyes of Westerners, but also to the entire planet which remains astonished in the face of this colossal fratricide. However, despite this, our intention to offer a glimmer of light and positivity remains unwavering even if this horrible contingency is appended to two years of pandemic that has sapped our strength. Art still remains a beacon that illuminates even the darkest and most distressing times, and must continue to do so precisely in these difficult periods in order to succeed in giving that spark of constructive energy that contrasts with the destruction currently in progress.
The goal of the quarterly Matres is precisely this: to focus on the ceramic universe in all its facets, not following a purely local perspective and therefore limited by territorial boundaries, but open to the extent possible to what this ancient art currently produces and has produced in the past. An art that, born with man, is mentioned in all sacred texts, from the biblical to the archaic writings of Egypt and the Latin American Mayan world. But who are the Matres? From the remote civilizations of the Gauls and Celts, traversing the Latin peoples, these donors of the fruits of the earth reach our technological age, unchanged in their physiognomy of seated and prolific divinities. They are images of the being that regenerates itself, of the earth that sprouts, but also, the welcome of a vessel enveloping the interior of a place where one takes refuge from outside dangers. The Matres are healing, water flowing that cleans and regenerates; they are Cybele, a chthonic divinity who dominates uncontrollable forces. Venerated in the forests, caves and rivers, the Mater welcomes, protects and heals. Even ceramics are mater, the most ancient of all arts as the master-potter of Cetara Ugo Marano has always defined it. Pandora recognizes this feminine quality of creating and protecting, a sign of a progressed civilization in which the evil of the cosmos no longer emerges but the ability to generate art, rooted in the archaic, reaches towards the future. Cava de’ Tirreni becomes a welcoming place, producing an osmosis between local traditions and innovations that move from the West to the East, producing profitable transformations, perhaps introducing the birth of a less destructive and more creative world. Matres' eye will thus move from our Italy, which has many cities engaged in ceramics, in particular from our area (Vietri sul Mare, Cava de’ Tirreni and Naples), to some European sites and laboratories, reaching to extreme and very distant places such as China, South Korea, Iran and Greece to name a few - - and it will shed light on similar artistic practices which differ according to ethnic groups, methods and specific techniques. Of course, we are undertaking a grandiose project that creates the possibility of exchanges between heterogeneous worlds.
The Pandora Ceramists Association, active for more than ten years from Cava de’ Tirreni and thanks to the tenacious industriousness of its President Anna Rita Fasano and its associates, has been expanding in various parts of Italy, Europe and the world, succeeding to put ceramic artists in communication, thus creating contacts and organizing events, exhibitions, meetings, courses, conferences and publishing catalogs and various writings. All this and much more will flow into the Matres Magazine, unifying and harmonizing many streams of various origins like river tributaries flowing into a single sea of creativity and knowledge. Matres will tell the story through the column dedicated to Ceramics Museums and the journey of factories that are still operating today in the field and those that have operated in the past. It will narrate the Social by analyzing the area’s works in progress and elsewhere, aimed at young people and fragile categories. The magazine will discuss the technology applied to the clay universe, the ancient and more contemporary techniques, the design that is research and innovation aimed at the future, the environment and the safety related to ceramic powders and chemicals, arriving at food, wine, recipes and containers related to culinary pursuits. Finally, Matres will open a window on events in the world. Matres is a magazine not only aimed at a small circle of experts and specialists in the sector, but also at enthusiasts, collectors, and those who, as neophytes, want to approach the wonderful Ceramic Universe which, as mentioned, takes on a thousand faces and a thousand creative possibilities.