Our clay is extracted precisely in the field beside the furnace, so it's really appropriate to speak of a 0 km production, maybe 25 or 30 metres from the place where it is first refined with the use of fine sifters and then left to maturate outdoors. Since we're at 500 metres above sea level here in the winter the cold dries it up and in the summer the blistering heat cracks it, forming the typical crackle texture.
Production phases of handcrafted bricks and tiles.
Once dug from the quarry, the clay is spread on the "cretaro," an open-air yard where natural weather conditions produce the first transformation in the process.
Only once it has been weathered will the clay be mixed with water to make a paste ready to be moulded at the bench.
The master "potter" fills the "mould" with a block of clay and uses a "ruler" to level it, creating a brick that, when unmoulded, will be ready for drying.
Depending on their size and thickness, the unmoulded clay shapes are left to dry on heated "piazzas" for 2-3 days before being stacked in "gambette" (little legs) so that the air can remove all the moisture in the bricks and tiles before firing.
During the drying process, the edges are precisely "shaved" with a "rasp"..
Firing is the most delicate production step during which each single dried and shaved brick or tile is placed in a special kiln where the temperature will reach about 1000 C.
The pieces are carefully arranged and the firing time and temperature calculated to allow the fire to envelop every part of the brick or tile, firing it uniformly without damaging or deforming it.
After firing, the brick or tile acquires the strength that makes it eternal and the beauty that, for centuries, has made terracotta such a valuable material. Each piece is masterfully worked, assuming the different shadings that, when placed side-by-side, create a warm and unique wall and floor covering that enriches any environment.