Cocciaio, botteghe di ceramica
Via Dei Vasari, Copperia, Cocciaio: certain local place names still in use or still in popular memory are the most evident traces of town’s historical craft industry, now unfortunately gone. Between the 15th and 16th centuries Asciano was the home of important kilns and workshops producing ceramics, bricks, and tiles. Many artisans have been identified thanks to the Statues of the Art of Vase-making in Asciano.
Local ceramic production is clearly documented from the fifteenth century to the early twentieth century. The most prominent period of this activity, however, is circumscribed from the sixteenth to the eighteenth century and is witnessed by some valuable artifacts preserved in important Museums:
- a 16th-century mossy bucket, kept at the British Museum in London;
- a plate with floral decorations and golden edging of 1578, signed by an important family of local ceramists: the Filigelli, kept at the Museum of Ceramics of Montelupo Fiorentino
- A devotional plate dedicated to St. Lawrence and kept at the National Museum of Ceramics in Faenza.
Another important family of ceramists was represented by Francini, specializing in devotional newsagents and Vie Crucis for churches. One example of great value is the Via Crucis that Francesco Francini made in 1790 for the Collegiate of Sant'Agata, still visible today in its interior.
Recent artifacts and scraps of furnace, recovering from excavations of some "bucket wells", located in the oldest part of the historic center, testify to the importance and wide spread of this craft activity in the past in the local economic fabric.