Terracotta has a long and rich history, taking a number of forms since its discovery including sculpture, pottery and building materials. Its colour comes from the high iron content, which reacts with oxygen during the firing process. The most identifiable finish once the firing process is complete is the easily recognisable orange and red colours, however terracotta can also be found in pinks, greys and browns.
There are a number of advantages to using terracotta, one being its natural earthy tones. The material can also be glazed before firing, which creates a brighter finish and increases the durability of the material.
The material, by nature, is fireproof and can be moulded into any shape. However, the material can deteriorate overtime especially following too much human interaction.
Traditionally, terracotta has been used for flooring and roof tiles in hotter climates as it absorbs less heat than other materials. This has led to the visual links between the material and traditional Mediterranean interiors.
In recent months, terracotta has had something of a ‘rebrand’, modernising the look and feel with a range of new techniques and styles. The material has had such a surge in popularity that it has been named one of the key trends for 2017 as it is not only the material that is of interest, but also the colour, making this trend easier to create with a smaller budget. Below are two examples of how this colour is currently being applied to interiors. The first shows the use of the material itself being used within the architectural features of the space, whereas the second is the simple use of a painted wall.
Above are some further examples of the contemporary uses and influences of this ancient material. Take a look at Tomas Kral’s Terracotta lamps or the terracotta light shades by Spanish designer Miguel Angel García Belmonte for an interesting take on accessories. On the other hand, maybe the Art Deco inspired terracotta fabrics or Eames style coloured chairs are more suitable for your style of living. Either way the versatility of the trend means that there is something for everyone.
Dezeen (2014) Terracotta Everyday Collection [Online]. Available from: https://www.dezeen.com/2014/07/02/fid-terracotta-everyday-collection/ [Accessed 20/01/17]
Dowsling and Reynolds (2015) POTT Terracotta Light Shades [Online]. Available from: http://www.dowsingandreynolds.com/new-lighting/pott-terracotta-light-shades-by-miguel-angel-garcia-belmonte/ [Accessed 20/01/17]
Hooked Up Shop (Unknown) Matte Liquid Lipstick [Online]. Available from: http://www.hookedupshop.co.uk/terracotta-matte-liquid-lipstick [Accessed 20/01/17]
Love is Speed (2014) Beneath Rippling Ceiling of Suspended Pots [Online]. Available from: http://loveisspeed.blogspot.co.uk/2014/10/beneath-rippling-ceiling-of-suspended.html [Accessed 20/01/17]
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Dezeen (2013) Terracotta Lamps [Onlines]. Available from: https://www.dezeen.com/tag/terracotta/ [Accessed 20/01/17]
Curtains and Fabx (Unknown) Art Deco Curtains [Online]. Available from: https://curtainsandfabx.co.uk/product/art-nouveau-print-fabric/ [Accessed 20/01/17]
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Dezeen (2012) Wall House [Online]. Available from: https://www.dezeen.com/2012/08/30/wall-house-by-anupama-kundoo-at-venice-architecture-biennale-2012/ [Accessed 20/01/17]
House and Garden (Unknown) How to Decorate with Colour [Online]. Available from: http://www.houseandgarden.co.uk/interiors/wall-paint/hot-earth-terracotta-bedroom [Accessed 20/01/17]