Paolo Zoli

Paolo Zoli, son of the ceramist Carlo, was born in Faenza in 1885.

In the early 20th century, he trained as a decorative ceramist at the “Fratelli Minardi” ceramic factory in Faenza.

In 1914, when the owners died, Paolo Zoli was one of the partners who took over the factory.

After a period away, Zoli returned to Faenza at the end of the First World War.


La Faience

Here, in 1919, he opened the La Faience ceramic factory in Borgo Durbecco with Pietro Melandri, Dino Fabbri, and Amerigo Masotti.

Here ceramics were created in the forms and classic decorations of the Faentine tradition, both in pieces focused on innovating new forms and decorations and in those with a Liberty and Secessionist influence.

The company was short-lived: in 1920 Pietro Melandri opened his own workshop, Dino Fabbri left Faenza, and Amerigo Masotti looked for a job as a ceramist.

In 1921, Paolo Zoli was the sole owner of the factory, and he quickly expanded production, which included both commercial products and artistic works of great value. He increased the staff, and by 1924, there were about twenty employees, and the next year he decided to expand the factory. Its reputation grew nationally and internationally, and Paolo Zoli spent time on representation, expanding the factory with a luxurious apartment and a reception room.

During these years, they worked with Francesca Sansoni, Amerigo Masotti, Emilio Casadio, Antonia Tura, Fausto Dal Pozzo, Antonia Bubani, Luigi Fantoni, Angelo Ungania, Clorinda Pompignoli, Felice Rambelli, Ida Cimatti, and Angelo Biancini, and the potters Armando Cornacchia and Giuseppe Melandri.

In 1927 Paolo Zoli partnered with the knight Aldo Boari of Bologna and Visani, a ceramic trader from Forlì, and reopened the “Trerè” ceramic factory in Faenza.

In the late 1920s, the painter Roberto Sella joined the company.

Other collaborators in the late 1920s included the multi-talented Giulio Argnani, the potter and printer Domenico Mattioli and the decorators Anna Ronchi and Anita Gentilini.

In 1930 the factory closed its doors. Zoli moved to Switzerland.

He died in Faenza in 1960.

(the biography is partly adapted from the site