Terracotta Takes the Lead, but what make’s Terracotta so hot right now?


Although the tradition of making terracotta in an ancient town south of Florence traces back to the 14th century, the Manetti family (Cotto Manetti) continue to produce terracotta today, ensuring that it is in strict compliance with the ancient traditions of the Impruneta region in Tuscany.

Located in Ferrone, Italy, the Manetti family have been producing terracotta tiles for over eight generations. Having focused on producing terracotta tiles, roof tiles and jars for wine and olive oil, the Manetti family transitioned to become the official supplier to many renowned architects in the world when they expanded their production systems. This includes the floors of the Botticelli room in the Uffizi Museum in Florence and for the restoration of Duomo of Florence di Brunelleschi.

Having acquired unmatched skills and experiences over centuries, the family utilises techniques that have been handed down from one generation to another, giving place to a deep and fascinating ‘cotto culture.’ As a dense material, terracotta contains several special qualities, testifying to the variety and versatility of the range of solutions offered by the Manetti furnaces. Sourced from the Fornace quarries, once the Galestro clay is fired, “it has unique characteristics in terms of robustness, water absorption, resistance to frost, and a very low porosity,” says Federico Manetti of Cotto Manetti.screenshot_4

The distinctive properties of Galestro clay is the combination of local soils, rich in iron and is extremely malleable and resistant. As these Cotto Manetti terracotta products are of exceptional quality, the natural characteristics of the material is seen as the perfect mediator between architecture and nature, ancient and modern, as well as practical and aesthetic purposes.

“Nowadays we can easily say that the most important component that makes Florentine terracotta so special is an intangible component like time,” Frederico emphasises.

Using traditional hand-drawn techniques as well as machinery, Cotto Manetti produces an array of terracotta tiles that can be used in several areas around a home. Due to the natural ingredient combination of clay, water and fire, and owing to the masterful artisan techniques, the natural bright red shade of terracotta stands the test of time. Renowned for their distinctive durability and colouration, Cotto Manetti terracotta tiles ranges from a typical deep burnt orange colour into more exceptional dark tones like black.screenshot_3
When used as floor tiles, wall-cladding or paving, it lends a traditional character to an otherwise modern architectural style. On a smaller scale, it can also be successful utilised as design objects such as pots and vases. Regardless of how Cotto Manetti tiles are utilised, it will achieve an exceptional robust functionality being the densest terracotta in the world. Specifically, surface products such as the Arrotato Da Crudo exudes a more industrial aesthetic, suitable for many external and internal applications. The Levigato, Cotturo and Fatto A Mano are hand-moulded and seamlessly injects a heritage feel within any interior.

Artedomus knows the power a singular product can make in a space and is setting the benchmark in truly exceptional stone, tiles, architectural surfaces, bathware and furniture. Cotta Manetti terracotta products are exclusive to Artedomus and can be found on display at its four showrooms across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth, and viewable online at www.artedomus.com.

A Warm Softness
Beyond its built-in benefits, terracotta offers a special materiality when applied in an interior. The tactility, warmth and raw industrial edge can create spaces that feel welcoming and authentic. For these very reasons more projects across Australia are being designed with terracotta. From the floors of Artedomus’ new showroom to a vertical wall pattern in a bathroom by MRTN Architects, in each environment and even when used judiciously, terracotta elevates a space, bringing a sense of rustic charm.screenshot_6

A Mix of Patterns
The full Cotta Manetti range features a mix of colours, including soft browns through to richer red umbers. The size and shapes also allow for distinct patterns to be designed, to suit any type of project. Square mosaics and thin linear pieces sit alongside more classic dimensions, opening up myriad possibilities for designers and architects.

A Rich History
The Manetti family (Cotto Manetti) have been producing terracotta dating all the way back to the 14th century in Florence. For eight generations they have been making and refining the production of tiles, roof tiles and jars, and even have their tiles on the floor of the Botticelli room in the Uffizi Museum in Florence. Their process draws Galestro clay from the local soils, which are abundant in iron, making it an incredibly malleable material.