The art of Azulejos is one of the most traditional techniques used in Portugal, especially when it comes to the architecture of historical buildings as it acts as a wall covering decoration, layering large surface areas both on the inside or outside of buildings. Over the last years, it has also started being used in interior design, mainly in the manufacturing of furniture and accessories. Around the world, this practice is perhaps best known as ceramic tiles painted in blue artistic patterns. This exceptional gives a whole new aesthetic value to a certain creation and reflects a tradition of hundreds of years where important moments of one’s history are often portrayed in the tile. Today, Room Decor Ideas will enlighten our readers a bit more about this highly decorative art as well as how it was the main inspiration for an incredible collection of luxury furniture design.
Azulejo is a clay or ceramic plate piece, generally with a square shape decorated with glazed colourful designs, and the majority of tiles shows Moorish designs which have curvilinear, lacelike and looping designs, or even have geometric or floral motifs.
This unique art form has been used consistently by the Portuguese and the Spanish as well as the former colonies of these countries. This technique is very much rooted in the soul of these countries, especially Portugal. One of the main luxury brands that create the most iconic design pieces using this highly curated technique is contemporary furniture brand, Boca do Lobo, seeking to honor this incredible treasure.
This ornate and refined art was the inspiration behind the brand’s Heritage series, a collection that displays different layers, each one illustrating a different story. Among the remaining Portuguese artists of azulejo and a member of Boca do Lobo’s team is Mr. Araújo, a brilliant mind who is always looking to create antique things and historic panels yet in a forward-thinking way. An artist who loves to draw and to paint since he was a little boy.
“I wanted to study Fine Arts, but my mother worked at a ceramics factory where they had a very old painting section. I had the opportunity to work only for the summer holidays, but actually, I love it and I stayed for years.” – Mr Araújo, adding that “The way we perform today is the same it has being done for the last 40 years, and certainly how it will be done for the next 40 years.”
The process is very meticulous. A tile is chosen to see if it is cracked, the good ones have a hollow sound when hit against each other. The drawing is on a parchment paper that is drawn with a graffiti pen and stamped with a coal pencil in the tile. The paintwork is done with water-based paint, a powder that is mixed with water to work the density.
To have the paint in the exact thickness requires knowledge: not too watery and not too strong. If it is too thick, the brush starts dragging, if it is too watery, it will be difficult to achieve the expected tone. The outline is made from the contour brush, and artists keep brushing, avoiding it gets laid on the bottom. After it, the background is painted with a swath brush to highlight the piece, then the dark shades for the highlights and more watery paint for the shades until the frame is completed. The azulejo goes to the oven and the rest of the coal disappears, and then it is complete.
Today, the challenge lies in finding new aesthetic concepts seeing that the tile itself will always be the same. Below, you can find a wide variety of exciting products that after a lot of work and thought put into them by a skilled of artisans and thinkers, completely surpass all expectations:
Bespoke Heritage Dining Table at the Fairmont Hotel, Washington
Customised Heritage sideboard at the Cococo restaurant in St. Petersburg