One of the most attractive features of tierra negra™ is that no two pieces are ever exactly the same. Each of the potters making the product has a slightly different style and this can be seen in the form of any curved parts and particularly of any handles. Variations in size also occur and are a natural consequence of the fact that the product is handmade.
All dimensions given are approximate outside measurements and include handles where appropriate but not lids. Please refer to the size guide for more details. Individual dimensions may vary by ±10% or 2 cm, whichever is larger. If precise dimensions are important to you (e.g. buying items to replace an existing piece), or if you are in any doubt about the dimensions of the piece you wish to order, please contact us before making your order.
The black satin finish is the result of careful polishing with semi-precious stones and a special firing technique. Again, slight variations occur and, because the original colour of the glaze before firing is terracotta, small reddish-brown patches are sometimes visible. These often add to the attractive appearance of the product. They are not a flaw but further confirmation that the product is handmade.
After cooking over intense heat for prolonged periods, the outer surface of a tierra negra™ product will sometimes revert to its original terracotta colour. This is the result of localised oxidation, a reverse of the reduction process by which the surface acquires its black colour in the kiln. It is entirely natural, almost unavoidable and not an indication of a flaw in the product.
The clay used in the making of tierra negra™ sometimes contains small flecks of a gold-coloured crystal. This is Fool’s Gold or Iron Pyrites and not, sadly, gold. It is a natural component of the clay and almost impossible to remove completely when the clay is prepared. It also tends to rise to the surface during the firing process and so may not be evident before firing. Sometimes, the crystals fall out and leave behind a very small hole. Most pieces, however, contain no visible sign of the crystal.
The surface of the cookware is relatively soft. It does not have a hard vitreous glaze; it has what potters call a “slip” glaze, a layer of very fine clay painted over the surface and then polished with semi-precious stones. This type of glaze allows the tierra negra™ cookware to be used over direct heat on the hob and also in the oven, which is not the case with most other ceramic casseroles.
After the cookware has been made, it is carefully stacked inside large urns and these are then placed in a traditional kiln to be fired. When the firing is finished, the urns are pulled out of the kiln and whilst still hot, the cookware is pulled out of the urns using long hooks. Shallow marks are sometimes made on the surface of the pottery by the hooks as the artisans pull the cookware out. These are not flaws but a result of the way the cookware is made. The marks will not affect the performance of the dish in any way and will not become a crack over time.
Orders will generally be dispatched within 5 working days of payment being made. During Christmas and other public holidays, however, orders may take a little longer.
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