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Postby wdel » May 3rd, 2010, 9:33 pm

A fairly large number of ceramics from Faenza, especially pieces in the famous "Garafano" pattern bear the initials CACF. This is not the mark of a single artist or one studio but rather represents an organization or more specifically a cooperative of many Faentine ceramists.
On Wednesday, November 22, 1944, a flight of B-25 bombers of the U.S. Twelfth Air Force carried out a bombing raid against German defenses and troop concentrations in the city of Faenza. The historic ceramics factory of the great Achille Farina was partially destroyed in that offensive attack. The building had housed the Farina pottery since the early 1800's. Also destroyed in the bombing was the Ceramics Museum of Faenza and a large number of priceless antiquities were destroyed. By the end of spring 1945, the bombs stopped falling on the Italian landscape. The War was over and by autumn of that year reconstruction had already begun. For the residents of Faenza that rebuilding process required them to make a monumental decision. Pottery making had been the heart of the city’s economy for five hundred years but the wonderful, artistic and fragile majolica pieces for which Faenza has been so famous had fallen out of favor. What the country, and the rest of the world, needed now was not delicate, artistic, decorative vases and plates to grace the home but rather sturdy, practical ceramics to replace the household tableware destroyed in the war. Of what use was an expensive vase when an ordinary, inexpensive cup to hold drinking water couldn’t be found in the cupboard? Most new factories in Faenza yielded to practicality and the lure of economic security.
Some potters refused to yield to common sense. They refused to give up five hundred years of artistic heritage. They reasoned that if the skills necessary for the production of fine majolica was not re-introduced into the economy right away the art might be lost and Faenza would become just another center of pottery production. They were resolved to regroup the Faenza artists before their talents were dispersed across Italy. In the closing months of 1945 they formed the “Cooperative of Ceramic Artisans of Faenza” and restored the kilns of the partially destroyed Farina pottery. CACF did not, however, purchase the company name or the trademark associated with Achille Farina, a six pointed star. They did, however, use a variation of the Farina mark as a way to focus attention on the very best tradition of Faenza’s proud tradition. Achille’s mark became a constant reminder to the artists of the cooperative that they had a responsibility to Faenza’s glorious past to create their finest work. In 1947 they moved the factory across the road and dropped the symbol of the six–pointed star used by Farina to mark his wares. CACF remains the most important of Faenza’s artistic ceramics factories and it has never forgotten its purpose of maintaining a proud five hundred year heritage. Of all of CACF’s myriad designs, the Ferniani Garafano remains its most popular.
In 1996 the cooperative officially changed its name to "Immagine Faentina" but mark found on their products remains CACF.
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