How Spanish Tiles are Made

History of Spanish Tiles

Around the 12th century, hand-painted tiles came into general use in Europe after being created for hundreds of years in Persia and Egypt. Spanish tile designs, patterns, and tile-making techniques were greatly influenced by the Moors. Many regions of Spain have distinct styles, like Valencia, Mallorca, and Andalucia. For example, Valencia's hand-painted styles often incorporate stylistic floral patterns into a geometric design.

In the present day, Spanish tiles have gained a reputation for using some of the most brilliant and varied color combinations. Their globally appealing designs continue to remain popular, especially in the United States.


Making Relief Tiles

In this video you will see how ceramic relief tiles are made. The pattern being made here is Avente's Colonial Antiqua Capuchinas Relief tile.


Cuerda Seca Tile-making Technique 

The Cuerda Seca, or dry cord, technique originated in Persia and came to California via Spain. In the 1920s, much of the pottery in Northern and Southern California began to reflect this technique. The Cuerda Seca process begins with a wax outline being drawn on the tile. A syringe is then used to apply the glaze. The glaze beads up during firing and creates slightly flooded areas against the wax outline. Usually, a black wax is used for the outline, thus creating a black outline in the design.

Majolica Tile-Making Technique for Spanish Tiles

A Spanish term, Majolica is a lead and tin glaze that creates an opaque white surface that can then be painted on. The process of making majolica consists of first firing a piece of earthenware, then applying tin enamel that upon drying forms a white opaque porous surface. A design is then painted on and a transparent glaze applied. Finally, the piece is fired again.

 Learn How Painted Ceramic Tiles are Made

In this video, learn how artisans create hand painted decorative tiles.