The artisanal charm of the handmade terracotta

The artisanal charm of the handmade terracotta

The artisanal charm of the handmade terracotta 1200 800 Krei

From flooring to pool covering, and more. The artisanal charm of the handmade terracotta gives life to unique furnishing accessories intended for interiors and exteriors of homes, hotels, offices, professional studies, and art galleries. Krei, partner of architects, companies and designers with a view to design and executive consultancy, supports the designer in the research, supply and installation of handmade terracotta.

The artisanal charm of terracotta: from clay to the furnace

Terracotta bricks have been used to construction since ancient times, boasting over 5,000 years of history. Thanks to an heritage that has been handed down from generation to generation, today the production of handmade terracotta uses the same techniques and materials of the past: wooden moulds, clay of the purest quarries, rainwater, and cooking in the wood oven for bricks from warm shades. An artisanal processing method which, through a particular treatment and cooking of the clay, leads to the creation of high quality handmade terracotta.

A natural and sustainable material, handmade terracotta has clay and rainwater as raw materials, simple elements that give life to an ancient material of the highest technical level step by step:

  • Extraction of the clay from the purest deposits
  • The extracted clay must be laminated and purified until it is uniform and soft, to become, with the addition of water, a mixture for the brick to be worked by hand, which is then left to mature protected from atmospheric agents
  • Cold moulding of the brick in wooden moulds of different sizes, totally by hand, giving the beauty of diversity to each brick
  • Natural drying with the brick that is left to dry in the air so that the mixture of clay and water stabilizes before being fired
  • The cooking in the traditional wood-burning oven with the bricks gradually brought to approx. 1000° C. for 24 hours so that the mineral components of the clay undergo the transformations that give durability to the handmade terracotta.

Handmade terracotta to furnish domestic environments

Arredare con il cotto fatto a mano

Ph: Helenio Barbetta per Hannes Peer

Handmade terracotta can be enhanced within a new architectural project as well as in the renovation of a pre-existing building, using it both for flooring and wall coverings, from roofs to attics up to furnishing accessories.


  • Aesthetic performance: terracotta goes well with different furnishing styles, not just with rustic environments as we might think. In fact, it gives a suggestive effect even when combined in a modern context.
  • Resistance: terracotta is also ideal for outdoors. It resists to atmospheric agents such as foot traffic and temperature changes.

The ideas and new trends of handmade terracotta

  • Terracotta goes well with the creation of exposed brick walls capable of transferring a warm and convivial atmosphere to the environment, especially the kitchen.
  • You can cover the fireplace with terracotta, creating the intimate and cozy atmosphere of a country farmhouse in the living area.
  • Hand-glazed terracotta in its glossy and matt tones is an excellent use for the bathroom wall with tiles also decorated by hand which convey a unique character to the environment.
  • As part of some prestigious collaborations, we decided to enhance the external environment with a designer swimming pool, choosing handmade terracotta for the flooring or to decorate the pool edge with non-slip, resistant and functional characteristics.

The artisanal charm of black terracotta and Bucchero

Black terracotta and Bucchero are the expression of a strong decorative ability and they fascinate with their powerful aesthetics, playing in interior design with the allure that black can give to environments. From artisanal knowledge and the use of different clays or minerals, we are able to produce a black terracotta, highly appreciated in interior design for giving a touch of elegance and modernity to environments.
Following the ancient technique of Etruscan Bucchero, the high-temperature cooking process of the clay has made it possible to obtain a very resistant and hard ceramic, a particular uniformly black terracotta already used by the Etruscan civilization from the 7th century BC to the first half of the 5th century BC, which from ancient material is now capable of interpreting a contemporary vision.

Handmade terracotta and Bucchero for unique accessories

Would you like to give personality to environments with unique accessories which are the result of millenary tradition and experimentation?
Krei has selected handmade terracotta as the material of choice for Unique Objects.

The “Unique” furnishing accessories proposed by Krei are designed for customers who love design and artistic craftsmanship and are looking for original objects, in some ways unique and unrepeatable.

  • Centenarius is a vase made following the classic Umbrian method of covering terracotta;
  • Cariat is a sculptural tray/centerpiece, as if pushed upwards by three mini columns which seem to take charge of the thousand-year history of handmade terracotta, shaped into new silhouettes;
  • Maco is a centerpiece formally inspired by ancient Japanese ceramics.

Treatment and protection of handmade terracotta

Keeping the terracotta floor in its natural state involves recovery with careful brushing and cleaning followed by washing with special solutions and suitable machinery. The surface is then treated after drying in order to make it water-oil repellent.
Krei takes care of cleaning and protection of handmade terracotta, using specialized technicians, machinery and highly professional products.

If you would like more information and receive free and personalized advice, contact us on 0761 1791060 or fill out the form below.
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    Photo Credits

    pavimento in marmo corridoio

    Architecture and interior design: Marta Fegiz + Les Arch studio – Roma
    Photo: Valerio Stopponi
    Made by:
    Location: Roma

    Camino in marmo

    Photo: Caterina Zavattaro
    Made by:
    Location: Roma

    bancone in marmo

    Architecture and interior design: DK Architetture –
    Photo: Alessandro Vitali
    Made by:
    Location: Reserva, Via del Pellegrino Roma

    dettaglio top in marmo

    Architecture and interior design: Surf Engineering Srl Roma
    Photo: Caterina Zavattaro
    Made by:
    Location: Il San Lorenzo – Via dei Chiavari 4/5 Roma

    pavimento ristorante in marmo

    Architecture and interior design: Arch Daniela Colli –
    Photo: Matteo Piazza
    Made by:
    Location: Milano – Motta 1928