What You Should Know About Terracotta?
Terracotta is a clay-type material that is baked and used in a variety of applications. The term terracotta can relate to either its orange-red coloring or mean baked earth in Italian. The actual source can have an impact on its color. European sourced terracotta is an orange-brown color and in Mexico it comes with more of a pinkish hue. This baked earth is fired in a kiln to give strength and hardness. Common uses include architectural ornamentation, garden pots and floor tile or wall tiles.
Terracotta has been in use for thousands of years. Its use dates back to early Rome and Greece. Common uses included pathways, walls, floors and roof tiles. Originally, tiles were shaped using basic hand-tools and left outside in the sun to slowly harden. This process was later made more efficient with the use of ovens.
Early sculpture has been discovered across the world. Over the years, many pieces of ancient art work have been unearthed. The long-term survival of many of these pieces demonstrates the strength and durability of this material. A well documented discovery includes the Terracotta Warriors in China. This dates back some 2000+ years. This ancient burial site includes 8000+ statues. Many are still perfectly preserved.
Ancient clay also provided many practical uses. This material was a common choice for olive oil, medicine, herb and food containers. It was also a preferred choice for producing burial containers. Archaeological digs in African continue to unearth an endless collection of simple and rough built stoneware for use in the home.
Using the latest glazing techniques, this baked earth material is now widely used to produce smooth and attractive stoneware for use in today’s home. Modern glazing methods help to produce practical items like dinnerware, vases, serving pieces and flower pots, as well as many intricate designed sculptures.
Terracotta is widely used for producing high-quality ceramics. The ceramics are placed in a kiln or oven for about one week to let the material dry and harden. It is than painted with a design or color scheme before ending with the glazing. To make the ceramics food safe, they will repeat the firing process a second time.
It can also play a significant role in the construction of buildings. This material is appreciated in the building industry for its dirt-resistant properties, durability and light weight nature. It is also more cost-effective than using a close alternative like stone. The Royal Albert Hall and Victoria and Albert Museum in London made extensive use of terracotta during the Victorian Era.