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  • Berlin-based Ennio Nobili’s naughty ceramics are breaking the mould


Berlin-based Ennio Nobili’s naughty ceramics are breaking the mould

With a collection of artful and sensual pottery, ceramicist Ennio Nobili's En Ceramica studio is quickly becoming a Berlin favourite.

Photo: Makar Artemev

The difference between a great home and an exceptional home is in the details. While we would never deny the practicability (and price) of a Billy shelf, mass-produced IKEA kitchenry is not the way. Enter the beautifully moody tableware by En Ceramica, a queer one-man business. The man behind the black-and-grey creations is Ennio Nobili.

Fleshing out the shelves of his open studio, an extensive range of dark-toned ceramic pieces – plates, cups, teapots and vases, crafted masterfully by Nobili or one of his students – sit ready to be fired or picked up. The potter’s pieces exude a dominant and powerful aesthetic, with raw black tones, simple designs and sharp edges that, Nobili hopes, reflect Berlin’s notorious all-black aesthetic, antithetical to that of his home city of Rome. “I see my work and I can see Berlin, or I can see my Berlin,” the heavily-tattooed ceramic maker says. Like with any piece of art, it’s clear that Nobili channels a part of himself into his clay creations – but it doesn’t stop there.

Photo: Ennio Nobili

One of the Italian potter’s most recurring design elements is, well, a penis. Nobili’s ‘Phallophoria’ collection started as a custom creation for a friend requesting a special set of phallic plates for an extra spicy dinner party. Currently sold out, the plates were a huge hit with his queer following, who flooded his inbox overnight, Nobili says. Though he’s still drowning in commissions, Nobili’s pottery studio has humble beginnings. After arriving in Berlin in 2018, he worked odd jobs for two years before the pandemic offered an opportunity to turn his passion for pottery into a business.

Now, Nobili is sharing his wisdom in weekly workshops, in which he teaches students the foundations of wheel-throwing, wedging, centring, opening and pulling. But what’s the moulding master currently working on himself? His most recent creations are large ceramic butt plugs, and he envisions exhibiting hundreds of them one day: “I have been making them for fun for now, and I want to see if that can be taken into an art space. I want to make many, many more. I think they will look really good all together.”