Experimental Terracotta: This Material's More Versatile Than You Think

Terracotta is a wonderfully earthy, traditional Italian material, derived from clay. But there's more to it than flower pots, as this collection of modern objects crafted from the earthenware proves.

This display of objects is the result of a project by 10 designers in the Federazione Italiana del Design (FID) group. While other materials do feature, terracotta is the dominant component in each design—in turn demonstrating that it's way more versatile than we probably all think. Marta Polenghi, one of the designers, explained to Dezeen:

"Terracotta is a very strong element in the culture of Mediterranean countries. In every Italian home there is a vase, or a pot or a table crafted by terracotta artisans. We decided to pay homage to this material and the crafts surrounding it by dedicating a whole exhibition to it."

"It has been really interesting to work with: it's a very alive material that needs to be known well in order to foresee the final result. These constraints force designers to set up a dialogue with craftsmen."

The results are striking. Andrea Sciarrino worked with craftsman Walter Castelnuovo to produce stackable wine stoppers; Alessio Monzani created a

six-legged terracotta side table; Jacopo Ferrari designed a squeezer made from two terracotta shells; and Laboratorio San Rocco made the beautiful curved Lampada table lamps.

All told, it's a lovely demonstration of how an ancient material can be used to create modern products. The objects will be on display at the Paris Design Week in September. [Dezeen]