Sambuco Arte Sacra Deruta Fondatori

In the late 1950’s, following in the footsteps of father Luigi that back in 1918, at the age of 17 years, worked in the furnace, Mario Sambuco, after acquiring extensive and thorough knowledge of Deruta’s ceramic-making traditions and techniques, founded the Sambuco company.

From the years ’80, Lucio and Luca Sambuco, after learning from childhood by their parents Mario and Colomba and the grandfather Luigi the basics and secrets of the art of ceramics, enter definitively in the family business.

Since 2000, Sambuco has been developing a research and development project entitled “Stilnovo”. In collaboration with artists and designers, its goal is to create new forms and decorations, to experiment with new materials and create new furnishing solutions and applications.

Ceramiche Sambuco Mario is associated and is one of the founders  of Associazione Arti Sacre (Association of Sacred Arts), founded in 2017 at Vatican City.

Mario studied and used materials rarely found in wares from Deruta, including precious materials such as gold, platinum and copper. He then went on to specialize in the field of contemporary ceramics, and later produced an extensive line of religious items and objects for sacred art.


Sambuco Arte Sacra Deruta Calice bizantino con Tau

Several special decorations realized by Sambuco require etching of the newly-made product, such as the style inspired by Byzantine mosaics. The mosaic is a floor or wall decoration made up of many small, variously colored cubes, called “tessera”, or of fragments of various shapes of glass paste, terracotta, etc., bound in place by mortar, cement mixed with water or mastic. Mosaic attained its greatest moment during the era of Byzantine painting.

Research brought about the creation of mosaic-effect majolica: the so-called “Byzantine-style”. It is technically possible to obtain these results with a sharp steel tip that marks out a predefined pattern that is etched onto the surface of the newly created object, which is still soft: the result is an image that resembles an authentic mosaic. To complete the item, three firings are required: the first phase is undertaken after the object is etched; the second phase after coloring and the third phase after the application of gold. When the kiln is opened, after this final phase, the craft product that appears before us glows with light and priceless contrasts because of the splendor of the gold and the its colors.

The “Rubino” style is of particular effect thanks to the application of metallic luster, which is achieved by blending a classic lily and flower decoration with ruby red lustre that acts as a background. The entire effect is enhanced with a gold finish. Alongside the decorations with red metallic luster, the lines with copper, platinum and silver and numerous other pictorial types.



Byzantine" Goblet by Ceramiche Sambuco Mario - India, June 1988
“Byzantine” Goblet by Ceramiche Sambuco Mario – India, June 1988

Ceramiche Sambuco Mario exports its art works dedicated to sacred art, handmade in the Deruta area, all over the world. In this archive photo we can see how this religious celebration in India is made with a finely decorated “Byzantine” style chalice.

Often, sacred vessels, altar accessories, ornamental elements for the embellishment of the church, tiles with sacred themes but also simply small devotional objects, are brought as a gift by missionaries or private citizens in the realities where they go.

The high symbolic value of these objects make our company proud and able to promote and convey the craftsmanship of our land together with the technical ability that distinguishes us and allows us to create valuable items.