Low-fired, porous terracotta containers have been used for centuries as a simple and highly effective irrigation technology, sometimes referred to as “ollas”. When left unglazed, filled with water and placed in earth, the natural phenomenon of soil moisture tension regulates the amount of water that seeps through the clay walls: in dry soil, more water is absorbed by the surrounding dirt, and in wet soil, the water remains in the vessel. This makes it ideal for areas that vary between excess and insufficient rainfall. You can, of course, control this further by simply filling the vessel with water yourself and placing it in your growing soil.
Made in the Loire Valley of France and shows the individual marks and characteristics of handmade craftsmanship. The medium measures 9” H x 5” W and holds 4.75 cups of water it’s suited for either a planter or raised bed. Designed so the tapered tear drop section is submerged in the soil and the rest is above ground. These need to be taken out for the winter.
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MAKER SERIES: MAKING OLLAS Kneading And Preparing Terracotta Clay
A master of her craft, Viola shows how to knead the terracotta to make a workable, more pliable material to craft.
MAKER SERIES: MAKING OLLAS Throwing Clay and Forming Finished Pieces
Once the clay is worked, Viola expertly creates the shapes of the ollas featured on our site.
A Behind-The-Scenes Look at Our Makers