The metallic lustre is a pottery technique characterized by a metallic look, often shimmering and iridescent. It is a complex technique, very laborious and antique. Its origins date back to the handicrafts of the ancient Oriental countries: pottery of rare beauty that now fills the best museums of the world. This technique reached Europe passing through Spain; during the Arabian domination, Valencia became the capital of it. During the Renaissance, this technique reached its peak in the Italian region of Umbria.
The use of gold and silver and the imponderability of the results of the smoke firing allow every lustred object to be a unique piece that cannot be replicated.
By subjecting suitable oxides and metallic salts to the heat of a strongly smoky atmosphere, that is the reduction, they become their respective pure metals. This smoke is obtained by putting inside the oven some carbon substances at the third firing process. For many centuries, the majolica craftsmen used fragments of horse hooves; today, they use substances that are more easily available, like sugar, alcohol or different resins. The magic of the iridescences make the lusterware the most seducing and mysterious among the pottery families.