Have you ever seen a brightly colored kitchen backsplash, a brilliant bathroom tile display or an eye-catching mosaic in someone’s home or office?
If so, there’s a good chance it was created using beautiful, hand-painted Spanish tile. But not all decorative tile is created equal. For instance, unlike many of the value priced tile exports from Mexico (which are of much lower quality), Latin Accents imports hand painted tiles made from traditional clay as well as durable porcelain bodies.
Ever wonder how these tiles are actually made? Here’s the process, step-by-step.
The first step in the process of producing these handcrafted masterpieces is picking the desired pattern and color scheme. The design options for hand painted tile are virtually endless, so this step can take some time. Prior to any design being applied, our tiles are given a base glaze that is low-fired on.
Prior to any design being applied, our tiles are given a base glaze that is low-fired on.
Poblana Tile Creation
Latin Accents’ Poblana line of decorative tile uses a style that originated in Puebla, Mexico. In these tiles, the design is first traced onto a piece of tracing paper, which is then pierced multiple times with a pin.
This creates lines of holes. The paper is then aligned over the tile and carbon dust is carefully tapped onto the paper using a powder puff. The dust passes through the holes and onto the tile, creating a pattern which instructs the artist where to paint the black lines of glaze to form the design.
Next, the artist applies thick, bright and colorful glazes using a variety of specially made brushes. These brushes have been specifically designed to ensure that the glaze is applied in the correct breadth and thickness.
It’s not uncommon to end up with a layer of glaze that is as thick as a quarter of an inch. The firing process, however, serves to reduce the height of the glaze while still leaving behind a slightly raised contour of the design.
Catalina Tile Creation
Our Catalina line of hand painted tile is produced using a very different process than that of Poblana tile.
To begin, a silk screen process is used to apply lines of “wax resist,” which will repel water-based glazes. Once fired, however, a black outline of the design pattern remains.
The artist uses rubber bulb syringes to carefully apply the glaze to the detailed design, which is then sealed through the firing process.
The intricate design and production of our hand painted artisan tile require a high level of skill, which is evident in the exceptional quality of the final product.