The Terracotta Features


Garden Terracotta Pottery: discover the pros of this ancient product The terracotta is a hard and resistant material achieved by a firing process at about 1000° centigrade of a mixture made of clay and inert material, usually sandstone. It's known throughout the world and can be produced in raw materials such as bricks for houses, but also other items, thanks to the easily malleable nature of the clay.
In Tuscany, in the area of Florence and Siena, the craft of garden pottery has been developed over the centuries and is famous throughout the world for its elegant and refined desing and also for the quality of the clay. The subsoil of Tuscany is rich in quality clay with high mechanical strenght and this allows the production of very large pots, greater than 100 cm in size. Without going into specific technical details, we can say that the important features of a terracotta pot are:

The Tuscan terracotta is obtained by the best of these features is definitely the best garden terracotta in the world. This is mostly due to the high quality in Tuscan which has allowed this craft to be developed over the centuries. The clay of Impruneta and Siena are among the best clays in the world due to the presence of Galestro and iron oxide. These clays can be used to produce pots with high mechanical strenght and porisity which is ideal for plant life. The high firing temperature and the processing techniques along with the quality of the clay allows us tu get a terracotta which is frost-resistant and durable: in Tuscany there are terracotta which are over 300 years old. The centuries of experience allow accurate modeling of sophisticated Tuscan style, but also a simple and modern design can be achieved thanks to the use of colored clays.
It is possible that none of this would have happened without the typical clay of Tuscany.

Impruneta Terracotta

Terracotta di Impruneta, the most famous and frost resistant This clay is the best in the world for mechanical strength and frost resistance, thanks to the presence of Galestro, a soft rock typical of the area of Florence, Impruneta, which gives the finished product frost resistance at over 20 degrees below zero. The Impruneta clay has an grainy texture which makes it rough to the touch and reddish color with white shades. The pots produced with this clay are top of the range and are often found in very important gardens all over the world. The design is refined and very well made. If the pots are made using the Colombino technique (totally by hand) it is difficult to have perfectly identical copies of the same article. Each piece is unique. Alternatively, you can work with a gypsum mold. The firing process can reach up to 1020-1030 degrees and lasts for about 36 hours which is followed by a further 70 hours for cooling. It is possible to make products with special colored clays prepared directly by the company.

Perhaps not everyone knows that in 1419 Filippo Brunelleschi chose the Impruneta Terracotta to build the Dome of the Florence Cathedral

Siena Terracotta

Siena Terracotta, a very good deal between price and quality This clay is mined from the hills around Siena and is the second best clay after Impruneta for producing large pots. The clay is rich in iron oxide which, after the firing process, gives the clay a uniform dark red colour, typical of Tuscany, which was very popular in the United States in the 1980s. These pots are frost resistant to up to 15 degrees below zero and our customers in northern Europe have been satisfied with the products. The models, as a result of the ancient Sienan tradition, are elegant and finely made and have either modern or classic Tuscan style with an antique finish. The products made with Siena clay are much less expensive than products with Impruneta clay but are still very good in terms of the quality and beauty of the design.

Production Cycle

How is made a Terracotta Pot? here the production process The best pottery is hand-made and has a production time that varies from 25 to 40 days, depending on the size of the object and the production season. The greater the size and the colder the season will increase the length of the cycle of processing and drying. The production cycle consists of the following steps:

  • producing
  • finishing
  • drying
  • firing and cooling
  • wetting
  • packing

The care with which these stages are carried out can also determine the life and the quality of the terracotta pot. With the same clay, you can get products of lower quality if you do not perform well during these stages of processing. To save on time and lower the costs of production using machines, iron molds or doing rapid firing cycles, brings a lower mechanical resistance. Marrangoni Pottery is made using the casting technique with gypsum molds and firing cycles of 36 hours with a long residence time (ripening) in the kiln at 1000 degrees.

(*) Siena clay usually is firing with 36 hours plus 4 on ripening time cycle. Every producer adjust this cycle according to his own experience and to the "tricks of the trade" to produce his Terracotta.

Terracotta da giardino: fase di produzione calco a mano
Terracotta da giardino: fase di rifinitura o ripulitura
Ciclo produttivo terracotta da giardino: la fase di essiccazione
Ciclo produttivo terracotta da giardino: la fase di cottura
Ciclo produttivo terracotta da giardino: la fase di bagnatura o stagnatura
Ciclo produttivo terracotta da giardino: imballaggio della terracotta

Frost resistant

Each item produced and distributed by Marrangoni Pottery is frost resistant. However, this does not mean that the clay is impermeable to water. Indeed, one of the characteristics of the clay is the porosity which allows the plants have a better supply of oxygen to the roots. Indeed, in winter the pores can be filled with water which expands when frozen and could break even the best terracotta. To avoid this, you need to follow these simple steps and your terracotta pots will last longer and will be able to endure even harsh winters:

  • Don’t block the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot and check that the soil or roots do not prevent water leakage. The icey water may also harm the plant.
  • Do not let the terracotta be filled with water during the winter
  • If possible, try to raise the pot from the ground using the terracotta feet for the base

Our pottery is sold in northern Europe and North America and we have never received complaints from cracking due to frost