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The Art and Science Behind Our Terracotta Jars

Posted by TEAM TDSV on 2024-05-01
The Art and Science Behind Our Terracotta Jars

At Terre Di San Vito, our terracotta jars are much more than just containers; they embody a rich tradition interwoven with innovative design and craftsmanship.

These jars are integral to our company and stand as a testament to our commitment to preserving and celebrating Italian artisanal heritage.

Here's a detailed look into how we create and design our terracotta jars, ensuring each piece is as functional as beautiful.

The Heritage of Terracotta

Terracotta, translating to "baked earth" in Italian, has a history that dates back thousands of years.

It has been a favoured material for everything from ancient sculptures to building materials.

In Apulia, the tradition of crafting terracotta has been passed down through generations. At Terre Di San Vito, we embrace this historical art, infusing it with modern aesthetics and functionality tailored to today's needs.


Sourcing the Clay

Every terracotta jar begins its journey in the rich earth of Italy.

The clay used for our jars is sourced from local deposits known for their quality and durability. This clay is composed of a unique blend of minerals that, once fired, gives the terracotta its distinctive, warm earthen hue and robustness.

Selecting the right clay is crucial as it impacts not only the look and feel of the jars but also their porosity and strength.

The Art of Shaping

Shaping a terracotta jar is a blend of artistry and precision.

Our skilled artisans, the custodians of centuries-old techniques, handcraft each jar with attention to detail.

The process starts with the clay being kneaded to remove air pockets, which could cause imperfections during firing. Depending on the size and design of the jar, it is then hand-shaped on a potter's wheel or built up with coils.

Firing the Clay

Once shaped, the jars must be dried slowly to prevent cracking.

They are then fired in a kiln at high temperatures. This firing process transforms the soft clay into hard, durable terracotta. It is a delicate balance: too hot, and the jar may become brittle; too cool, and it won't be waterproof.

Our firing techniques, honed over decades, ensure each jar achieves the perfect hardness and porosity.

Finishing Touches

After firing, some jars are left in their natural state, showcasing the terracotta's earthy texture and tone. Others may be glazed inside to make them waterproof, depending on their intended use.

Our decorative jars often feature hand-painted designs, applying traditional motifs that reflect the rich culture of Apulia.

Each design tells a story, whether it's a depiction of the local landscape or flora or an abstract pattern.

Sustainability and Craftsmanship

Sustainability is at the heart of our production process.

Using natural materials and traditional methods minimises our environmental impact while supporting local crafts and communities.

Each jar, a product of the earth, can eventually return to it, completing a natural cycle that respects the environment.


Our terracotta jars are more than vessels; they celebrate heritage, art, and science.

They encapsulate the spirit of Terre Di San Vito, where tradition meets innovation in each creation. These decorative jars symbolise our dedication to quality and craftsmanship.

We invite you to explore our collection and discover the beauty of terracotta in its most refined form.

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