Diego Poloniato lives in Nove (Vicenza), a small town in the Veneto historically devoted to the production of ceramics, where he studied at the Istituto d’Arte per la Ceramica Giuseppe De Fabris. Since 1990 he has worked on his own as a master ceramist while drawing on the invaluable advice and experience of his father Domenico, a leading figure in the local ceramics industry.
His hands mould the clay with vigour and delicacy, creating grand epic scenes or small zoomorphic figures. All his works are executed in glazed semi-fireclay fired at high temperature and treated with pure oxides.
Diego is able to use clay in all its nuances, with oxides and slips providing the colour, allowing him to obtain subtle shifts in tone that give his works the delicate hues of the Veneto landscape. Each piece that comes out of his workshop is unique in so far as he does not rely on ready-made moulds; everything is the fruit of his imagination, his inspiration and his inexhaustible creativity, united with an extraordinary manual skill. The technique adopted is based chiefly on mixtures of clay of various colours that he combines to produce the astonishing chromatic effects typical of his pieces.
Cocks and cockerels, hussars on horseback, clowns and dolls, Pinocchios and a variety of animals are his favourite subjects and the multitude of figures modelled by his skilful hands are also turned into cuchi and arcicuchi: terracotta sculptures that also function as whistles, in line with a local tradition of these popular, singular and magical objects. A creative universe of great charm and poetry. However, Poloniato is also well-known for his talent in modelling unique works on an imposing scale.
Since the 1990s he has collaborated with various initiatives of the Associazione Nove Terra di Ceramica and has often cooperated with teaching projects in the primary and secondary schools of the areas. He has taken part in numerous Exhibitions of the Terracotta Whistle, winning awards for the refinement and creative style of his interpretation of this Veneto tradition. From 2009 to 2017 his work was shown in Italy and abroad as part of the ViArt project for the promotion of the Arts and Crafts of Vicenza. In the spring of 2012 the town council appointed Diego Poloniato Ambassador for the Ancient Ceramic Tradition of Nove.