The secret of Artenova’s production philosophy is to work slowly
The craftsmanship involved in the making of an amphora or a wine-jar means that production time can take up to 90 days
Much of the production philosophy of our company is based on patience. It is the secret behind the majestic beauty of the Artenova amphorae, with their imposing size (up to 800 litres), and elegant appearance. To complete the construction of a wine jar, it takes a maximum of 90 to a minimum of 60 days (which only in rare cases, may become, 45). This is the amount of time required by the craftsmen of Artenova, to make amphorae and large wine jars, sometimes as tall as themselves, entirely by hand. After the jars are finished, they are placed in a special room (in the photo) to dry out naturally and, finally, only when perfectly dried, placed in the firing chamber of the kiln.
Three phases are necessary therefore, to make an amphora. Firstly the crafting of it using the ancient coil-pot technique called “colombino” a process which can take several weeks as the walls of the jar have to be built up gradually in stages requiring each level to be dried stiff before another stage can be added.
Then comes the extremely slow drying out phase. “This stage is particularly delicate, ” explains Leonardo Parisi (in the photo), owner of Artenova “The drying of an amphora must be done slowly to avoid cracks forming later. To speed up a little, we use a special drying room located deep inside the workshop, which makes it less prone to environmental influences, where amphorae and jars can dry out a bit faster, but even so it takes at least 30 days.”
The third phase that of the firing, can only take place when the jars are perfectly dry. Only then can they be placed in the Kilns where the temperature goes up to over a thousand degrees C. This must also be done gradually over 3 days: a day and a half to reach the maximum temperature and a day and a half to cool down. The transition from pearly grey to the wonderful pale pink colour typical of the terracotta from Impruneta is a result of the firing. So along with the moulding of the clay (earth and water) and the drying process (air) the jars and amphorae are a veritable fusion of the elements. However, it is the patience involved in slowly executing all three phases, which gives the jars their perfection and awesome beauty.