E is for Encaustic Tiles – The Alphabet Imaginarium

e is for encaustic tiles - The Alphabet Imaginarium by Vera Ciria

Photo by Anna Morago

E is for encaustic tiles, such a technical word for something so mesmerising. A swirl of pattern that unfolds at your feet. A world of colour that brightens the darkest rooms. Each so individual, buffed to a smooth shine. A classic beauty that always trumps any other option under your feet.

Let’s get a bit personal… When I finally found my apartment a little more than a year ago, I knew immediately, just by seeing photos, that I had found my home. What convinced me? The encaustic tiles. When I went to visit the flat later in the day, I couldn’t tear my eyes from the floor, such riotous colour covering every square meter. I would later find out that the owner thought I was mad! Before moving in, we lovingly buffed and shined the entire space, the soft sheen that emanates is truly captivating.

Encaustic tiles are part of our Catalan heritage. Something that we are deeply proud of. These tiles were created by Garret & Rivet, a company from Barcelona, and showcased in the 1867 International Exhibition in Paris. Encaustic is an art term referring to metal enamelling technique that employs a wax procedure to create swirling patterns. Starting with a cement tile, the pigment is hydraulically pressed into the surface to become part of the tile. From there stems the Spanish “baldosa hidráulica”

A bit personal, a bit technical, E is for encaustic tiles, a part of our life in Barcelona. The grandest buildings in the city have glorious tiled floors, the small and traditional fishmonger also. The grandmother that has shuffled her entire life over her tiles and the modern restaurant aiming to connect with a certain target diner too. Encaustic tiles are a part of who we are as a city.

If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I’ll be posting each letter here on my blog, two per week. And if you’re just on-board, you can follow along on Facebook and Instagram. If you just want to see the images each week, you can follow The Alphabet Imaginarium directly! Hope you’re enjoying the journey so far.

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