For full disclosure, I am very, very distant relation to the Sicilian de Simone Family’s, but I am in communication with Susanna for advise, Giovanni’s daughter, who still makes this pottery today. Genealogical records run dry in Italy eventually, but I’ve been at that for 10 years.
My initial goal was to purchase some pottery for myself and to give to my family members, and now is to dispute and correct what I saw happening on e-Bay, whereas sellers were copying “DESIMONE Pottery” descriptions right and wrong, continuing the propagation of the misinformation. As I contact these folks, I get mixed responses from “thank you” to “You’re harassing me”. One of these sellers sent me to this site, as where they obtained their information, and others have sent me to other sites.
There is a bit of correct information on the web mostly in Italian that Giovanni’s family published over the years. So I’m translating and asking the family questions and hope to visit Sicily again in the future. I intend to post this information plus my personal opinions on a blog site in English after the family reviews it.
Walter; I did look for an e-mail address for you, because I did not necessarily want to post my comment to you in public.
Misterhide; Buongiorno, Tu sei molto divertente. Non c'è da preoccuparsi. Well I think Picasso influanced many artist worldwide, but I think the Italians did a better job in ceramics. I don’t think Picasso influenced Giovanni any more than some other artist (personal opinion). Giovanni led the way in colors in ceramics and improved some of the process when he was in ceramic school. The red color he used was a development during his training in Faenza. The family states that Giovanni did like the works of Renato Guttuso, and I would say Guttuso, a Sicilian as well, born 20 years earlier just outside of Palermo, had some influence over Giovanni's style, for Guttuso only drew a few Italian countryside scenes, but nothing like the close up images of Giovanni. I say that is where Giovanni and the de Simone designs in general are unique. Another older Palermo artist Pippo Rizzo could have influenced Giovanni, but I have no family confirmation of this. Rizzo produced some countryside depictions as well.
I will put the school dates on my TTD list. Ciao, V/r, Vincent