Tiles are one of the strongest expressions of culture in Portugal, and one of the most original contributions of the genius of the Portuguese in universal culture. Learn more about it and see some photos after the break.
In Portugal, tile has far exceeded the mere utilitarian function or purpose of ornamental art and has attained the status of transcendent art as a poetic intervention in the creation of architecture and cities. The term tile means a piece of ceramic thickness, usually square, of which one side is glazed as a result of cooking a casing generally known as enamel, which is impervious and shiny. This face can be monochrome or polychrome, smooth or embossed.
Tile is often used in large numbers as a factor associated with surface coating architecture interior or exterior decoration or as isolated pieces. Tiles are part of historical events, mythological scenes, religious iconography, and also included in an extensive range of decorative elements (geometric, vegetal, etc.), applied to walls, floors and ceilings of palaces, gardens, religious buildings (churches, convents), housing, and public monuments.
In some companies, the tile is still manufactured entirely by hand, with only two moments of production that differ over the previous year. The first is when the tile, after drying and firing, is cut to 14cm in the machine, dried in 2 or 3 days, and cut with a knife, limavam stone, and batter. The second difference is that the oven used is no longer wood, but electric.
How to make a tile:
The clay is pressed with a roller in a ballast, a kind of board. The tile is then trimmed using a square plate and allowed to dry. Drying takes one to two months, the tiles are placed on shelves and slightly inclined so that after drying, they will have a tail light that will reflect the glass.
The clay is already dry and goes to a first baking oven. After cooking, we already have the laughing stock, and the baked clay is headed for glazing. The tile is placed on a support of wood. A tub is filled with glass and poured out on the tile. The tiles should be dried once again.
When the glaze is dry, the tile appears to have a white powder. It is the surface that is painted. The colors used in traditional Portuguese tiles are blue, maganes, yellow, and green. The tile is almost finished, just lacking the final cooking. Upon leaving the furnace, the semi-opaque yellowish spots reveal some ridicule (baked clay). The tile is then left to dry. When ready, the tile can form a panel. These are the steps in making a tile.