TERRITORY & TRADITIONS
The production of items made of terracotta in Umbria has very ancient origins. The beginnings of this activity is not precisely known, however there are testimonies of industrial and specialized manufacturing systems already in existence during Etruscan and Roman times. It is likely that during these times there was a diffusion of facilities and manufacturing sites which have characterized our region.
Even though techno-productive innovations introduced in the late Middle Ages launched the production of terracotta articles in Umbria on diverse levels of specialization in almost every centre of the region during the first decades of the last century, as soon as the production of crockery and domestic tools on an industrial level came about, including the war years, the production of terracotta on an craftwork level became almost obsolete. Later on the use of plastic materials also struck a definite blow to the remaining agricultural and alimentary uses for terracotta articles.
Nowadays the production of glazed terracotta has survived with some consistency, albeit only for ornamental purposes, in Ripabianca near Deruta and in Ficulle.
Ripabianca originates from a Medieval castle whose name probably comes from the characteristics of the terrain and, the great amount of clay to be found there, which without doubt, favoured the birth and development of this craftwork.
This town is located at the centre of a vast zone characterized by a particular ceramic vocation which has in the past seen specialized centres such as Torgiano, Deruta, Collazzone, Marsciano and Todi and which can still be seen today at Deruta for its Majolica and Marsciano for its laterite bricks.