Terracotta - A piece of earth

Terracotta embodies Indian tradition like no other. With origins dating back to the ancient civilisation of the Indus Valley, terracotta has deep-rooted significance in Indian culture and heritage.

The term terracotta, which means baked earth, is used to describe clay sculptures, pottery, various handicrafts, as well as its iconic shade of reddish-brown. The distinct tint is due to the iron particles present in the clay. As the iron in the soil can vary, terracotta can display a diverse shade range- from pinks, to yellows.

Terracotta is different compared to other ceramics. It has the unique ability to stay porous even after firing; this increases its utility tenfolds. Terracotta works as nature’s cooler, as it effectively keeps water cool. It is widely used throughout the country and is a blessing in Indian summers. Certain terracotta earthenware made with specific clay from the Ganges region is believed to be beneficial for health as it embodies the goodness of the soil.

Terracotta is mysteriously heat resistant, which, in the past, made it the perfect material for cookware and crockery. Even with the advent of modernity, terracotta earthenware has a special place in the Indian kitchen. Several cultures had been incorporating terracotta pieces into their homes for ages, long before the modern minimalistic aesthetics made terracotta décor famous. They make the best planters.

Historically, terracotta has been a welcome fixture in every nook and cranny of Indian households. They are a significant feature in our architectural book of reference. From temples to houses, terracotta elements frequently appear in antique architectural designs.

Terracotta has recently become more popular as people search for environmentally friendly alternatives. Nostalgia-evoking ‘kulhad’ or terracotta cups are the latest sustainable efforts made by businesses to emulate our traditions.

Terracotta has been the heart and spirit of sustainable practices in India. Alokya aims to make people aware of its benefits and impact on our ecosystem.