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Handmade ceramics in an atelier on the Navigli

News > Design | Handmade ceramics in an atelier on the Navigli

There’s a part of the Naviglio Grande that not everyone knows: it starts with the Via Valenza bridge and, step after step, takes out passers-by from the center of Milan.

Here, you will find neither boisterous crowds, nor trendy cocktail bars. No: here, you’ll find silence and stillness.


While strolling on the Naviglio Grande, look around you: starting from Porta Genova, you’ll meet the San Cristoforo sul Naviglio church, both small and scenic.

Then, after a while, you’ll notice a window hidden behind the trees. Looking closer, you’ll see a sign with the words “open” written on it. What are you waiting for? Follow the advice and get in!

MV% Ceramics Design: since 2001, Mariavera’s art lab

Cross the threshold and step on a squared floor, characterized by warm colors. Raise your eyes and you’ll see plants, shelves and walls covered with sketches, small design objects and plates.


On a dark-brown wooden chair, behind a light blue desk, there’s Mariavera Chiari, the atelier’s owner. Mariavera looks everyone who steps into her atelier with her dark eyes and welcomes them with a gentle smile.

The atelier stands in Alzaia Naviglio Grande, at the number 156, and it’s nothing but Mariavera’s world. A world made of colorful potteries with sought-after details and original hues. Everything began in 2001, when she understood that a good coffee is even better if drank in a good-looking cup. Here it is, then, her first project: a coffee cup made of 25 different colors. Their shapes and colors were greatly appreciated: since then, her creations have landed all over the world, from Paris to Tokyo.


What you’ll find in the MV% Ceramics Design atelier This art lab is tiny, but nevertheless full of surprises. The windows, whose glass reflects the pottery’s hues, lighten its interiors up.

Through them, you can gaze at the big blue cupboard treasuring small animals meant to be hanged on the wall. Nearby, there are some pots and plates piled up following a chromatic order.

We’ve fallen in love with the dish bearing the inscription Buongiorno: is there a better way to start your day? Yes, probably there is: if the dish comes along with one of the renowned coffee cups. The coffee cups that made the atelier famous stand on several shelves neatly arranged and paired with a small spoon.


Red and yellow letters circle some prints on the walls, and inside some bowls, there are small hearths and smiling faces, ready to be taken and given to one of your friends. Here and there, scattered around, there are sketches of future projects and work-in-progress ceramics: we can’t wait to see the new creations of this designer and to wish her good luck.

On your behalf, you can do some more virtual shopping and check out 5 more design stores you can find in Milan!

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