Terra cotta, a red clay commonly used to create pieces of pottery, tiles and sculptures, varies in shade from a deep red hue to a brownish-orange color. The exact color of the clay varies based on its exact chemical composition and temperature at which it is treated.
The redness of the clay appears brightest when the clay is fired at high temperatures. If a brown color is desired, terra cotta creations need to be treated at low temperatures. Temperatures that fall between these two extremes tend to create warm shades of red that have brown undertones. A clear glaze can be applied to terra cotta to make the final hue appear darker.