The value of quality products
By purchasing Fornace Masini terracotta products, you are not buying a vase, but a unique piece, where you can trace the unmistakable touch of the craftsman and the strength of the terracotta tradition in Impruneta.
Many characteristics of the finished product may seem like defects at first glance but they are indeed distinctive features of Impruneta’s soil.
For this reason, when you buy a vase with Impruneta’s clay, there is no guarantee that it will remain unchanged: this is proof that all our products are 100% handcrafted.
It is not difficult, in fact, to be able to find the footprints of our artisans in the vases, as if to recall the love and dedication to their “creatures”. The terracotta pots of Impruneta are rough to the touch, porous to the eye.
Due to the high firing temperature (more than 1000 degrees), very tiny and fine cracks can form on the pots’ surfaces, which do not penetrate the pot, but are only superficial.
These are called “baking cracks” and do not affect the resistance of our jars to frost or any other characteristics.
Another distinguishing feature of Impruneta’s terracotta is the phenomenon called “sbullettare”, which can occur mainly in the summer. When the jars are removed from the oven during the summer, despite being wet, the jar temperature cannot drop enough because of the high external temperatures and the fired clay of the vase continues to ferment. This fermentation causes the small pebbles, which make up the clay, to appear on the surface, and the pots become even more porous and rough to the touch. Also, in this case, it is a phenomenon that only involves aesthetics, as the vases maintain the same characteristics.
The saltpetre, the white patina
Another characteristic of our terracotta pots is that the color is never the same: it varies depending on many factors, which cannot be predetermined (link FAQ). The color can also change after firing and this is mainly due to the atmospheric agents. Impruneta’s clay is rich in mineral salts which sometimes form a white patina on the surface of the pots, called “saltpetre”. This mainly happens during winter. It should be noted that saltpetre does not affect the quality of the vase, indeed, it is indicative of quality and craftsmanship. It is very often a natural phenomenon that can last a few hours and then reabsorb, but sometimes it can be permanent. In the latter case, saltpetre can be removed with water and a laundry brush. If this does not work, it is possible to dilute the buffered acid with water, and then brush it off.
The black patina
Instead, over time, terracotta pots acquire a black patina, which makes them look much more elegant and antique. This process is speeded up when the pots are under plants or trees. Again, the black patina can be removed by following the same procedure described above.