Friday, June 5, 2009

Terra cotta

I love the various colors and textures of terra cotta.

The clay that comes out of Mexico tends to have a lot more iron oxide which makes the pots a dark to tawny orange.
The clay is usually not fired to full mature temperature so the pots tend to chip or break a lot easier.

The clay from Italy and France is simply superb. I love the pink tones from France and the deeper orange tones from Imperata.
Usually the clay is fired to a full mature temperature so the pots are extremely durable, even in freezing temperature.

Terra cotta from America is as diverse as this country. Most of our commercial terra cotta comes from Kentucky and Tennessee and the factories fire the clay to full maturity making it durable.
One also sees a glaze applied over American made terra cotta. I don't know the reason for this but it strikes me as interesting.

Below is a photo of various terra cotta from around the world.

From New Album 6/2/09 4:27 PM


b&g girl said...

love terra cotta groupings, the eventual mottled natured, the timelessness, i wish i could stick to terra cotta, but i seem to be weak for the rich glazing too...

carolyn gutierrez said...

I completely agree with the previous post. I love good quality pottery, both glazed and natural! So, I group the terra cotta with terra cotta and colored glazes with same color glaze - gives the eye immediately identifiable focal points in the garden. :) Thanks for sharing your lovely photos!!


I agree, terra cotta is the natural choice for the garden, especially since it is made from the earth (terra) and hardened, or cooked (cotta). The red tones are the perfect compliment to many shades of green on the color wheel, a combination made to excite the eye. The ancient methods are still in use today around the world--
(Hmm, I tried to post a photo of a red adobe bus stop, won't accept my HTML tag...)

danger garden said...

I also find the smell of wet terra cotta pots fabulous! So rich and earthy...