Terracotta & Faience

Terracotta is a form of fired clay produced in shades of buff, brown or red, its name literally meaning baked earth. It differs from brick and tile in that its raw material is a finely milled clay with almost all impurities removed, which allows for greater detail and sharper finishing. Glazed terracotta is usually referred to as faience, after Faenza a town in North Italy, renowned for its glazed pottery.

Terracotta and faience have been used extensively in the UK since the beginning of the nineteenth century. By the 1860’s the value of terracotta for mass-producing ornament and fine masonry was being fully recognised. It provided a combination of new technology with traditional craftsmanship and was used to create buildings such as the Royal Albert Hall and the V&A Museum. Faience then became particularly popular as a cost-effective material in the first half of the twentieth century, and as a result was frequently used in the construction of public buildings, such as hospitals, theatres, cinemas, train stations and schools.

London Stone Conservation is experienced in all aspects of terracotta and faience conservation and restoration. We offer solutions for any variety of terracotta material or repair program, including cleaning, repair, replication and sourcing of new terracotta and faience.

  • Sensitive cleaning programs using aqueous and non-aqueous methods
  • Sourcing and provision of new terracotta and Faience components
  • Replication of missing sections
  • Patch repairs
  • Renewal of glaze to faience
  • Structural repairs
  • Crack stitching
  • Remodelling and replication of ornamental and architectural details
  • Repointing
  • Treatment of corroding ferrous sub-structures