Styles and Techniques

The term Ceramic is derived from the greek word Keramos, which is precisely the name of clay.
This can have different characteristics depending on the type of mixture, baking process, and coloring. The types most known are, terra cotta (earthenware), pottery, porcelain, and majolica (when terra cotta is applied a covering).
There are few ways to work with clay and making ceramics: The potter's wheel is usually used to make vases, pots, pitchers, or cylindrical pieces in general. Using molds with two different techniques, called: à colo or à calco, or free style (without molds).
There is also different types of clay and that can be red or white. Red is more rustic and heavy, white is more polished. Our ceramics are all made with clay from Montelupo (Florence) which is the most valuable Our clay is Galestro clay for the items in terra cotta (the ones named with E). Galestro is a very thick, dense and viscous clay. Its chemical composition in fact makes it very hard and long lasting and so also pretty heavy. In fact Galestro clay is usually used to make items in terra cotta that are mostly kept outside - items that needs to be stronger - vases, sculptures etc... The richness of mineral salts, after being baked, makes its unique typical color of a red-pinkish tone, never homogeneous. But it can also be enameled to make ceramics goods of any kind and Della Robbia ceramics. These however will have a more rustic look.

The ceramics in this website, named with M and S are in white clay.
The one named with M are made a calco, the ones named with S are made a colo. In both of the processes a mold is used to make the finish ceramic, but the clay used has different characteristics itself and this determines the differences in the procedure of make the ceramic. The a calco process requires a different clay then the one used in the a colo process and it also requires more time in molding the items. The clay used in the a calco technique is in fact more dense and as a final result the piece will be more heavy but perhaps less sharp (still polished). The clay used in the a colo process is more aqueous and mellow, so it spreads itself into all the volumes of the mold more easily, reaching the details of the mold more precisely. This perhaps gets as final result a more sharp look but, also, the finished product will be of course lighter since the chemical composition of the clay was in fact more saturated respect to the clay used in the a calco process.



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