Hand Painted Tiles
With our Poblana (originating in Puebla, Mexico) line, a design traced on a piece of tracing paper is pierced multiple times with a pin, creating lines of holes. The paper is aligned over the tile to be painted and a carbon dust filled powder puff is tapped onto the paper, passing the dust through the holes and on to the tile. These line of dots instruct the artist where to paint black lines of glaze that will form the pattern to use for applying colors.
Next, thick, bright glazes are applied to a variety of specially formed brushes, which apply the glaze in the correct breadth and thickness. A quarter of an inch thick layer of glaze is not uncommon on many tiles, making the resulting hand painted tiles look much like cake icing.
The firing reduces the height of the glaze, but a raised contour of the design remains.
With our Catalina line, the hand painted tiles undergo a much different process. A silk screen process applies lines of “wax resist”, which will repel water based glazes and potentially leave a black line outlining the pattern of the design once fired. Thick glazes are applied with rubber bulb syringes, allowing for very thick profiles once fired. This process is also called “cuerda seca” translating from Spanish into English as “dry cord or string”, although the technique originated in North Africa.