Earth, Water, Air & Fire...
The 'galestro' clay, considered to be the finest terracotta clay, is only extracted from a very small area in the village of Impruneta, this means the earth extracted from here is a precious and valuable commodity. From this area we sourced our handmade, highly decorative and older pots.
We also located a delightful ‘fornace’ kiln near Siena where they make superior pots from again, local clay and produce all the pots and vases by hand, these pots are our less decorative, but chosen for their minimal elegance and traditional design.
Terracotta pots from Impruneta are distinct by their soft pinky–red colour and slight grainy texture, this is due to the clay’s makeup of limestone marls and flaky clays which contain a high iron oxide and calcium salt content. This natural recipe means the finished terracotta is superbly porous and very tough, which is imperative for standing outside in high and low temperatures and for retaining soil, plants or even oil. Traditionally oil jars were all made of terracotta as the clay prevented the contents from deteriorating by keeping it suitably aerated.
Extracted from a very small area in and around Impruneta, means the earth is a precious and valuable commodity and considered to be the finest clay...
To make a finished terracotta pot by hand is a remarkably lengthy process, the perfect ratio of powdery clay and water is blended and small amounts of clay are worked at any one time, as working by hand is a slower process and this prevents the clay from dying out. The craftsmen shape the clay to the ancient moulds, and leave them to dry slowly at first and to let the clay shrink a little before the mould is taken off and they are sent to a warmer room for further drying with warm air.
When ready, the pots are moved into the kiln and fired gradually over a period of 2 days, up to a temperature of nearly 1000 degrees C. Once the temperature has stabilised they are cooked for another 12 hours, two days later they are removed and doused with water to help remove the excess lime.