Luxury Furniture Behind The Scenes: Hand Painted Tiles Technique

Being one of the most representative art forms of the Portuguese culture, the renowned hand painted tiles reflect a tradition with hundreds of years.

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Portugal, the country of whimsical beaches, Porto wine, seafood, and also azulejos. Even people who aren’t familiar with the term, they visually recall the ceramic tiles painted in blue artistic patterns, repeated in many historical buildings or as rich accent elements such as house numbers. Profoundly linked to architectural use, it is usually applied as wall covering decoration, layering large surface areas on both the inside and outside of buildings.

Being one of the most representative art forms of the Portuguese culture, the hand-painted tiles reflect a tradition with hundreds of years, and it often portrays scenes from our history or its fabulous sights. Azulejo is a clay or ceramic plate piece, generally with a square shape decorated with glazed colorful designs, and the majority of tiles shows Moorish designs which have curvilinear, lacelike and looping designs, or even have geometric or floral motifs.

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A very ornate yet refined element which inspired the Heritage series from Boca do Lobo, a collection that displays different layers, each one illustrating a different story. Among the remaining Portuguese artists of azulejo and a member of our 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.

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You might also like: Luxury Furniture Behind The Scenes: The Leaf Gilding Technique

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Laying the chequered patterns is a slow and complex and therefore expensive practice, a factor which gradually and sadly led to the disappearance of the art. “The master at the company I worked for believed in a very important thing: continuation, to guarantee the transition of knowledge from generation to generation”. At the time, the colleagues of Mr. Araújo were 60 years old and the manager was worried enough to bring in young people.

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THE ART BEHIND THE PROCESS

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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.

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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. It is done.

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Heritage Sideboard

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Hand-painted tiles have gained a privileged place in architecture throughout the centuries. Portugal has adopted them like no other country has and in order to honor the Portuguese hand-painted tiles, Boca do Lobo created Heritage Sideboard. This piece presents a different number of layers, where each one tells a different story.

Heritage Cabinets

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Heritage is an elegant luxury furniture piece to compliment the decoration of any interior setting. A highly coveted ensemble of hand-painted tiles like those of an expertly curated art collection brings together master artisans and craftsmen for Boca do Lobo’s Heritage. In its interior, there is one door and four drawers, fully lined with gold leaf.

Heritage Dining Table

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The Heritage Dining Table, much like its sibling Heritage Sideboard and Cabinet, is a highly sophisticated piece inspired by Portuguese history through the use of traditional hand-painted azulejo tiles. Its noble design features bold lines, with alternating polished brass, beveled mirror and azulejo strips and a tempered glass top, which reflect your dining room’s finest elements, yet adding a touch of warmth and finesse.

See also: Secrets From Portugal: The Special Edition Of CovetED Magazine

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