Orazio Fontana came from an established family of potters in Urbino. When he moved to Urbino from his native Castel Durante, he took the Fontana family name. Along with his father, the master potter Guido Durantino, and his brothers Camillo and Nicola, Orazio helped to shift the dominant area for maiolica production and innovation from Faenza to Urbino and nearby Castel Durante by introducing istoriatodecoration there.
Orazio worked with his father for most of his career; he left in 1565 to set up his own workshop nearby. From that time on, he concentrated mainly on luxury wares decorated with istoriatoscenes and grotesques, leaving the plainer, and probably more profitable, white and common wares to his father. After establishing his own workshop, Orazio may have continued to paint ceramics or may have managed the shop's production.