Impruneta Terracotta Pottery
I have a new hobby. We went to Impruneta today, a couple of miles from our house south of Florence, and visited a large terracotta pottery producer. What fun.
The clay is mined a couple of miles from the furnace, and it is 100% natural. The pottery is made by hand, without forms, and then fired in a wood-fired furnace. Pretty much the way they've been doing it since Roman times. They even call the kiln a "Roman Furnace." The flowers, lemons, medallions and putti are all hand carved. I had to keep reminding myself that these are decorative, and that you don't cook in them :-) Natural is good.
The village has some huge pots in the main piazzas that are really something. I will post a couple of photos later.
I think this gives an interesting balance to the refractory question. These guys don't make ovens or cookware, and the oven producers don't make decorative pieces.
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