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In addition to stone products, the natural resources from Sicily's earth are also used for items such as terra-cotta tiles and other decorative items.
For example, in Catania, Cotto FurnÃ² creates terra-cotta products using the clays and basaltic lava sand from Mt. Etna. The presence of basalt in the mixture creates a tile of considerable hardness, according to the company, along with a unique tone and hue. Products include tiles, pavers, copings and stair treads.
The typical mixture is 70% clay and 30% sand, and colors include Rosato, which is a salmon tone, as well as a yellow/tan variety. In addition to machine-made tiles, artisans at Cotto FurnÃ² carefully create hand-made tiles by pressing the mixture within wooden molds. This process has remained unchanged over centuries.
The company has been in business for 30 years, although the family has been working in the trade since 1920, and Cotto FurnÃ² now has a total of 16 employees.
Meanwhile, on the â€œIsola delle Femmeâ€ (Women's Island) outside of Palermo, artisans at La Musa Ceramiche create hand-painted ceramic works using the areas natural resources. Items such as pots, vases, tabletops and tiles are created either by hand or with a machine press. Pots, for example, are created using a time-honored potters wheel, and they are hand painted by talented artists. Among other products, the company has developed a reputation for creating brilliant white tones, which serve as an ideal backdrop for the colorful designs that define La Musa's work.