THE HANDMADE COTTO

The brick has always accompanied the history of man, since prehistoric days.
In Italy, first the Etruscans and then the Romans developed and perfected the art of the dough and baking, either for construction and decorative, the tradition of brick continues uninterrupted in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. Today the brick handmade has been largely reevaluated and rediscovered in her craftsmanship, thanks to its indisputable quality of naturalness, beauty and versatility. The cotto is used to this day not only in rustic settings but also in most modern homes, because over the years it has been rated as a floor high class and prestige.Therefore unable to cope with the most different architectural styles.
The clay that our of emmeci use it's a clay called 'galestro', classic of the Impruneta's cotto. With it we can create a biological material and environmentally friendly technical features very interesting and only as a high thermal insulation, frost resistance, skidproof.
From the quarry in clay are picked and dried in the sun large amounts of clay, which will then be used after two years of storage in covered sheds.
The mixture of the clay is the first phase, then mixes the 'galestro' with water so as to make the mixture moldable with hands, harder for the production of vessels, softer for the production of bricks.


For vessels the process is the following:

With the kneaded clay are created of the "bugs clay “ rounds of about 10 cm in diameter and about 30-40 cm long, picked up we're going to do a twisting motion screw that will create the shape and thickness of the vessel. The day after we will proceed to finish the pot we created and then drying which must be slower possible and that based on the size can take up to a month. Then we proceed to cooking.  

For the bricks the process is the following:

the clay kneaded softer lies in the molds in wood of the measure of the brick required plus a 10% for the withdrawal, remembering good dusting the ground plane (what will give the surface), then you put the material produced to dry for about ten days in the squeegee forced ventilation, this to make drying as fast as possible especially in the winter periods of high humidity. Once dried, the material is trimmed at the edges and loaded trolleys in the oven where it will remain for about four days.
All these steps are performed by the skilled hands of the artisan,  which will give every single brick and single pot all his experience and uniqueness.
The firing cycle as i mentioned it will last four days, little more than two days for the climb to bring to about 1000 degrees the room of the fire where it will stay for seven hours then it will descend slowly and naturally.
The fourth day we will have a material that is the envy of all the world especially for its beauty and strength.