If you visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art, you might expect to find examples of Tuscan terracotta vessels in displays of ancient Etruscan art or Roman artifacts. But look closely at the filled planters and urns that decorate the common areas.They share the same lineage. These contemporary pots are imported by Siebert&Rice from the Impruneta workshops of twelfth generation artisans. It’s no exaggeration that Siebert&Rice’s terracotta withstands the test of time – and no wonder their pots become family heirlooms.
The story goes back eons to when the earth was taking shape – yes, that far back. The soil that Impruneta, Italy now inhabits was blessed with deposits of quartz and iron for terra (clay), and plentiful forests to cotta (bake) that terra. This turns out to be the ideal combination of elements for making the most durable (frost proof to -35 F) and coveted terracotta in the world. The mellow-hued red Impruneta clay is also beautiful but demanding. Its rough texture would damage machines, so It can only be worked by hand – much the same way that the orciolai e mezzinai (potters and makers of earthen jugs) did in 1308, the year they united as a corporation to protect the quality of their region’s handicraft.
Siebert & Rice were the first to bring this thriving tradition to the US in 1994. Through close relationships with local Impruneta workshops, they’re able to be exclusive importers of classic, unduplicated designs. Recently they expanded their line to include American designers like Richard Hartlage and Bunny Williams. The company’s American Collection is designed in the US, but continues to be handmade by Impruneta artisans. The best of both worlds.
For more information:
Seibert & Rice
P.O. Box 365
Short Hills, NJ 07078