Legend has it that this ancient tradition dates back to the kingdom of Manuel I, who was dazzled by the beauty of Moorish ceramics during a trip to Spain. Over 500 years after arriving in Portugal, tile design is now part of the country’s national identity. Portugal has maintained a rich tradition of creating unique, often handmade designs, and using them to decorate façades, interiors and any corner you can imagine.
Gazete Azulejos owners, Alba and Marisa, showed Domestika Diaries around their studio and told us how everything began with a project to preserve their city’s historic and artistic heritage: organizing workshops to teach their trade and perpetuate the tradition.
The entire process is carried out piece by piece from molding to painting to firing. Alba and Marisa have created over 200 different designs. Marisa explains:
“All our tiles are based on heritage patterns manufactured in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.”
Cataloging Oporto’s tiles is an important part of their work. They save the designs they find on old buildings undergoing or that will undergo repairs. Alba notes that many of the façades are destroyed during restoration, and their unique tile pattern is lost. “Many people have no idea this heritage is being destroyed,” she reports.
The pair moved to a coastal city 15 km from Oporto in search of a better quality of life. And their passion for tiles went with them. A permanent exhibition of countless exclusive and rare works adorns their house. This couple are dedicated to one of Portugal’s iconic traditions. They are about to launch an online course on handmade tiles in Domestika. Don’t miss it!
English version by @studiogaunt
You may be interested in:
- Domestika Diaries: Pepita Sandwich.
- Domestika Diaries: Olga Prinku.
- Domestika Diaries: Verónica Cerna.