After ten years of experience in the production of artistic-ornamental articles, Artenova decided to react to a clear decline in market demand. After a long phase of experimentation, they began to use the highly prized Impruneta clay for the creation of large terracotta jars for wine-making.
The new corporate course sanctioned an immediate international success thanks also to the precious interdisciplinary collaboration of various experts.
To date, Artenova is the only Terracotta workshop in Italy to produce professional Jars for wine-making and counts among its customers, in addition to numerous Italian wineries, producers from all over the world (United States, Australia, New Zealand, France, Canada, Austria, Serbia, Albania, South Africa, etc.)
Impruneta terracotta is made up of a single type of clay, which gives it its renowned characteristics of resistance and colour.
This clay is only present in a limited geographical area of the country.This special clay, unique and unalterable over time, requires great skill to be worked.
The Artenova laboratory in Impruneta produces amphorae and large wine jars, all made entirely by hand with an ancient technique called “colombino”, similar to the spiral vase technique used on smaller vases. The craftsman superimposes long clay cylinders called “lucignoli” (wicks), gradually making their way around the vase, building it layer by layer.
The jar is “pulled up” in stages with a wait between each stage to allow it to dry before moving on to the next. This prevents the wet clay from collapsing. After many days of patient work, the amphora begins to take its final shape. When the work is completed, the amphora is left to dry completely in a special dryer. The drying time varies according to the size of the vase and the climatic conditions of the moment.
The last, delicate phase of the terracotta processing cycle is cooking in the shop’s gigantic oven. The procedure takes place slowly over a period of 3 days. During this time the temperature ranges from room temperature to around one thousand degrees after which the pans are left to gradually cool again before being ready to leave the oven. This collaboration of earth, air and fire produces the beautiful dark pink color that distinguishes the Impruneta terracotta.