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Ceramics, porcelain, terracotta … let’s make things clear

First of all we can correctly say that it is always ceramic: this word comes from the Greek kéramos, “clay”, and in fact indicates, in a generic way, all the artifacts made with a clay base.

These three definitions are often mistakenly used as synonyms but, although they belong to the same type of scope, they have very different meanings.

Within the macro-category “ceramics” we find the various categories: porcelain and terracotta are the main ones.

Porcelain: the white queen of ceramics

Porcelain is considered the noblest and most precious of ceramics, composed of a particular white clay composed of aluminum hydroxy silicate kaolin, silica or quartz and feldspar sands.

The art of porcelain was born in China around the eighth century AD and finds its peak with the famous Ming vases between the fourteenth and seventeenth centuries.

In Europe it comes later, reaching its maximum splendor in the 1700s with excellences such as Sévres, Capodimonte and the great Viennese tradition.

What identifies porcelain is the presence of kaolin in the dough, the cooking temperature (about 1300 degrees) and the compactness of the dough.

Terracotta: the red magic of the earth

The terracotta, of variable color between yellow and brick red, is cooked at 930-960 ° and contains salts or iron oxides, which give the known reddish color.

If uncoated, they are notoriously suitable for outdoor use such as tiles, bricks, jugs and vases. If coated, they have a long history in the pottery industry.

Like earthenware and majolica, it is a porous and easily scalif ceramic.

Also with regard to terracotta, the principle is the same: it is a subset of ceramics and is distinguished by the type of workmanship, the oldest and most simple of all ceramics.

It is differentiated by its porosity, due to the presence of a reddish color due to the presence of ferrous materials in the clay and due to the fact that it is neither coated nor colored.

Used in architecture since the most remote antiquity, it is still used for pots and garden decorations, but also, enamelled, for pots and dishes.

At our shop in Greve in Chianti you will find our personal vision of ceramic art.

An artistic research inspired by the great Tuscan tradition, seeking at the same time a personal and original way to this noble art, thanks to innovative techniques and themes inspired by ancient and modern art.

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