Ernesto Canepa was born in Savona (Italy) in 1944. Having begun his career as a mechanics and technology teacher, in 1968 he began creating studio pottery for the Bottega Artigiana and the San Michele Art Gallery in Celle Ligure. For over 45 years now he has worked as a studio potter in Albisola, experimenting with a wide variety of materials and techniques, from those of ancient tradition to the most modern and sophisticated, in the conviction that there is no end to what one can do, learn and discover in the art of pottery.
As joint owner of the firm Studio Ernan Design, Canepa crafts artistic pieces using the specific techniques and traditions of Albisola—signature pieces created as one-offs or as series, as well as modern pieces produced in close partnership with Italian and international artists, designers and architects, where he lends his decades-long experience in the art.
Canepa was the mind behind the Rassegna 2000 series of regional pottery exhibitions and has organised exhibitions in Italy and around the world for the Consorzio Ceramica Artistica Ligure, a consortium he founded and continues to animate.
A member of the National Pottery Council, Canepa’s was an important voice in shaping the current law protecting studio pottery in Italy, which established the D.O.C. quality assurance label.
He holds pottery courses and runs internship and work experience programmes in the workshop in partnership with schools, academies and public organisations.
Awards and Honours
First prize, modern section, in the competition “Laggioni del 21° secolo”, Albisola.
Prize for Best Designer and first prize in the section “Products for use”, International Majolica Festival.
Nominated chairman of the Albisola Potters’ Association.
Lifetime Achievement Award, International Majolica Festival.