Tuscan Pots reawakens the ornaments of the past with a 21st-century revival of time-honoured craftsmanship, ancient aesthetics and historic clay
Tuscan pots is a cross between the secret chambers of a 15th-century Florentine Palazzo and the English Edwardian building in which it is housed. Established in Oxford in 2000 by garden designer Robert Moy and his late wife Francesca, the company celebrates the union of industry and artistic excellence in its products and philosophy. Open by appointment only, the family-run business is renowned for its Impruneta terracotta collection, as well as its recent revival of Italian maiolica ceramics. “We are weaving centuries-old techniques into the gardens and homes of today, bringing the sustainable excellence of the past into our modern world,” says Thomas Moy, Robert and Francesca’s son, who is Head of Marketing.
Prized by royalty and the nobility for centuries, Impruneta terracotta has a rich history. With the patronage of the Medici family, Renaissance architect Filippo Brunelleschi used over four million Impruneta bricks – which also pave the cantina floor at Tuscan Pots – to complete the iconic dome of Florence Cathedral in 1436, on account of the clay’s durability and grandeur. The clay is so historic and special that the Italian government only licenses a handful of potters to stamp their creations with their family name next to the word “Impruneta”. They are the stewards of an ancient production process first used in Renaissance Florence. “The artisanal idea is very Tuscan,” says Thomas. “There is a great sense of the old world in the way they do things.”
Made by hand, their creations are moulded in plaster cases in seven layers and take a minimum of four weeks to be crafted before they are fired slowly over three days. The dedication to this process gives these products a long lifespan, with many centuries-old Impruneta pots and statues still in existence today.
The Italian maiolica ceramics that Tuscan Pots also champions are made by a family of fifth-generation potters in Montelupo, Tuscany. Montelupo developed as one of the specialist centres for maiolica production in the late 15th century, producing decorative wares for many of the leading families of Europe. Tuscan Pots exclusively sources maiolica ceramics that embed the same philosophy and artistry as those original designs – aiming to link the best of the past with the present day.