PRESERVING A TRADITION
In the hills of Tuscany, a short distance from Florence, lies the small town of Impruneta. There, for hundreds of years, artisans have produced the world’s finest terra cotta. In fact, when Brunelleschi built Florence's magnificent Duomo, he insisted that Impruneta terra cotta be used for its iconic dome. Today, twelfth generation artisans quarry the same gray clay from the ancient pits behind their homes. Using traditional techniques, unchanged since the time of Brunelleschi, they create their characteristic pots by hand and fire them in kilns where they turn the magnificent color that is unique to Impruneta terra cotta - the warm pinks and orange of the Tuscan sunrise.
The terra cotta produced here is unlike any other. The unique chemical composition of the region’s raw clay, high in iron and calcium, and the high temperatures at which it is fired creates the most durable and the only truly frost proof terra cotta in the world. Exquisite detail, high relief, and expert craftsmanship are the hallmarks of Impruneta terra cotta and can only be found in work executed by the hand of an accomplished artisan. There is no confusing Impruneta pottery with that pressed out by machines or hastily done by less skilled laborers. The pots speak for themselves and are simply the world’s finest: each individual, each finely crafted, and each a work of art.
All of our terra cotta pots are handmade in Impruneta, Italy. Impruneta has always been the source of the world’s finest terra cotta, but that alone is not enough for inclusion in the Seibert & Rice collection. We have chosen the best workshops in Impruneta with the most talented artisans. We hand select the best pieces each workshop produces. We do not represent any workshops that use less accomplished artisans, that produce imperfect work, or that produce terra cotta outside the zone, while maintaining an Impruneta showroom only for the address. In addition, we regularly visit our Italian workshops to ensure that the highest levels of workmanship are maintained. Happily, over these thirty years our relationships with our artisan workshops and their families have spanned generations and we are gratified to support and preserve the traditions of artisanal handmade terra cotta in the region. You can be assured that when you purchase a Seibert & Rice terra cotta planter you are purchasing the finest quality terra cotta in the world.
Our workshops in Impruneta can reproduce historical planters to replace lost or damaged pieces at distinctive homes or institutions. For the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, N.C., we located original molds that were used to make urns for the home in the 1800’s. For the Boston Public Library designed by McKim, Mead & White, we created identical replicas based on photos and measurements of the originals. We can also create new original custom terra cotta planters incorporating design elements specified by the client as we did for the New York Botanical Garden.
Please contact us to discuss your custom projects.