I remember the day I first discovered the wonderful terra cotta pots of Impruneta, Italy. It was late afternoon in an Italian Renaissance-style garden just north of Florence. The light was mellow and golden and the shadows of cypress trees long across the lawn. Great iron gates opened into a wildly romantic rococo walled garden. Along the paths were olive oil jars and huge terra cotta pots planted with lemon trees. Around the marble fountain, smaller, exquisitely detailed terra cotta urns were bathed in the late afternoon light The setting was enchanting.

      The ancient, rose-colored pots spotted with green and orange lichen, were full of character and charm. These pots, I was told, were hundreds of years old and valued heirlooms and antiques. But the best news, these same pots and urns were still being made in Impruneta, a town famous for the unique composition of its clay and the skill of its artisans.

 

For Garden and Home   •   About Impruneta Terra Cotta

Poggi Ugo Impruneta Premier  •  Paul Massimo Popple  •  Care and Keeping


Retail Sources for Tuscany Terra Cotta

 

 

 


For Home and Garden

When thoughtfully selected and artistically placed, these terra cotta pots can create dramatic focal points and enhance the style and character of your garden. Terra cotta, in various cites and shapes, can help create and define your garden's various spaces. Arranged in groupings on a terrace or around your kitchen door, then planted with flowering annuals or herbs, a selection of these pots create delightful details and give your home an added sense of welcome.

If you are considering investing in Impruneta terra cotta and wondering which terra cotta pots to select for your garden and where to place them, I can assist you. During the last 20 years of designing gardens, I have worked with clients throughout New England selecting and placing containers and garden ornaments. Inspired by my travels to gardens in the United States, England and Italy, I can offer you the value of my design expertise and years of experience, f also work with nurseries offering some of the best and most exciting plants for container growing.

 

 


About Impruneta Terra Cotta

       The geological conditions of Impruneta have resulted in a soil whose chemical compound is unique. When this native clay - locally called "terra turchina" (blue earth) - is fired, the clay, because of its high limestone content, assumes its distinctive terra rosa color. The high limestone content of the clay also results in a pottery that has excellent porosity and is extremely durable and weather resistant.

       The working of terra cotta in Impruneta is an ancient art dating back to the Italian Renaissance and even earlier, to the Etruscans and the area's prehistoric inhabitants. The tradition of craftsmanship is an ancient and honorable one, handed down from generation to generation. The result is what cognoscenti consider the most beautiful terra cotta in the world.

      All the pottery shown is hand molded or thrown by hand, then hand finished. Some of the pots are charming in their rusticity, the hand-made irregularities adding to their character. Many of the pottery designs are classic and have been used in Italian gardens and loggias for centuries. The modern designs are inspired by tradition and by Italy's and Europe's most elegant contemporary styling.

I offer the terra cotta form some of the best craftsmen of Impruneta, including Impruneta's premier pottery.

 


Poggi Ugo - Impruneta's Premier Pottery

After visiting many furnaces in Impruneta, I found that this pottery clearly offered the widest range of styles created by Impruneta's finest artisans. The workmanship is the very best Impruneta has to offer. Their pottery features sophisticated styling, elegant details and superb finishing. The range of pot, urns and accessories is extensive, with may based on classic designs hundreds of years old. They also offer pottery that is simple and charmingly rustic but always beautifully proportioned and well balanced.

The brickyard of this pottery is one of the oldest in Impruneta, dating back to the 1500's. The present family has owned and worked the pottery since the early 1900's I feel it is an honor and a privilege to be able to offer this pottery to the most discerning.

See more Poggi Ugo Terra Cotta

 


One of a kind terra cotta, as featured in
Town and Country Magazine


Paul Massimo Popple

A most exciting discovery in Impruneta was the work of potter Paul Massimo Popple. An award-winning sculptor, with work in permanent collections both in the United States and in Europe, Paul is an innovative designer with roots deep in the classic tradition of Impruneta's history.

Paul takes inspiration from the neighboring Tuscan countryside and his own vineyard and olive trees. He is inspired, too, by the classic design themes of Italian terra cotta and plays with them. The result is pottery that is lyrical, whimsical and full of personality. Each piece is a powerful presence that can make a unique statement in the garden or become a delightful and idiosyncratic complement to contemporary

Made of the native clay of Impruneta, all of Paul's pieces are hand thrown or hand molded, finished by hand, then fired at high temperatures. Paul's pieces are left unglazed, with all the beauty and warmth of the terra cotta of Impruneta.

To see more work by Paul Massimo Popple click here.

 

 

 

 


Care and Keeping

Impruneta pottery is extremely durable and frost hardy, due to its high lime content and the high firing temperatures. Pots can be left out year round, but it is vital to remember that pots must be well drained and water should not be allowed to stand in" them to freeze and thaw. Pots should be lifted off the ground and the drainage holes kept clear of debris. These pots are an investment And if you treat your investment with care and respect, they will be treasured by future generations. As tough as these pots are, I don't leave mine out in the winter. Instead, as part of the ritual of fall clean-up, I have them moved into an unheated storage area where they will remain out of the snow and freezing rain. Pots with shrubs or small trees can be wheeled into greenhouses or garages. Because there are too many ways to break a pot, these pots can not be guaranteed.

 

 

 


Retail Sources for Tuscany Terra Cotta

Margaret Hensel Landscape Design

PO Box 167
Richmond, Massachusetts 01254
413 698-2291

By appointment

Impruneta Terra Cotta is also featured in one of America's most beautiful gardens:

Naumkeag
Prospect Hill Road
Stockbridge, Massachusetts
413 298 3239

O
pen 7 days a week 10:00 to 4:30
From July through September at the Garden Ornament Exhibit