The term terracotta, literally meaning 'fired earth', is generally used in building to describe a form of masonry made from fired clay of any colour, and not just red, which is principally distinguished from brick by its greater size, finer quality, and finish. When terracotta is glazed it is then correctly described as 'faience'.
By the Victorian period, terracotta already had a long and illustrious history as a form of architectural ornament. By the 1860s a number of eminent English architects had recognized its value for mass-producing ornament and fine masonry by casting from an original, combining new technology with traditional craftsmanship. With rapid urban expansion the material offered a new approach to style and decoration, with production continuing right up to the Art Deco of the 1930s. Today, with so many high-tech finishes, designers are showing new interest in this humble material. We have worked on a good number of restoration projects, and have helped develop some new ideas, so feel free to get in contact and give us a challenge.
Below is a cross section of terracotta work we have undertaken over the years, some structural, but most ornamental or cladding. Click on any image to learn more.