The Clay Authority – Debunking the Myth of Impruneta Clay
If you don’t have a subscription to Garden Design magazine, you really should do yourself a favor and get one. This new issue, Spring 2016, has a beautifully presented article about the legendary pottery artisans of the small hill commune of Impruneta just outside of Florence. If only as a travel guide to garden lovers, it reads like a NYT Travel section “36 Hours” of what to do and where to go in this tiny historic commune. Of course, you always can pick up a copy at Eye of the Day.
For a long time I have complained that many Italian pottery manufacturers have falsely used the name “Impruneta” to sell their Italian pots, often at an inflated price. This wonderful article helps to debunk this misnomer and offers a wonderful guide to visitors and lovers of quality Italian garden pottery, abundant throughout the country. Besides, after pasta, what does one think of when Italy is mentioned but double rolled-rim planters? Well, maybe shoes and olive oil might come up…
The essential part of the article was the brief mention of the actual terra cotta clay material found and used by these artisans in Impruneta. Many would have you think that Galestro clay can or is only found here and this is not the case as it is prevalent throughout the Sienese countryside. Francesco del Re was so adamant that his production of what many consider the finest Italian terracotta produced today be trademarked as “Terra Forte” clay so as not to be confused and wrongly named Impruneta. But the simple fact is still: All of the high quality, long lasting and frost proof terra cotta pottery found in Italy uses Galestro clay and does not have to be found within the commune of Impruneta.
At Eye of the Day, our main Italian terra cotta product is made with 100% Galestro clay manufactured for us by Colorobbia of Montelupo, Italy, and the largest Terracotta manufacturer in the world. Sounds impressive, doesn’t it?
What is really impressive is that our high quality, frost proof Italian terracotta will not only last for centuries, it is affordable when compared to similar pieces stamped with “Impruneta”. And please, don’t get me wrong, I have beautiful Impruneta pots, Francesco del Re pots as well as pots from other artisans of fine quality Italian terra cotta in my garden but all are manufactured using 100% Galestro Clay. That’s why I’m the Clay Authority.