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Portuguese Hand-Painted Tiles – An Ode to Craftsmanship

Portugal is a country of tradition, a country where, still to this day, Craftsmanship is very present in our design and architecture. Hand-painted tiles, also known as Azulejos, are an ancient art which involves a specific way of hand-painting tin-glazed ceramic tilework.

Azulejos are currently one of the most representative forms of Craftsmanship in Portuguese culture, the hand-painted tiles reflect a tradition with hundreds of years. The Azulejo is a clay or ceramic plate piece, generally with a square shape, decorated with glazed colorful designs. Most tiles show Moorish designs which have curvilinear, lacelike, and looping designs, or even geometric or floral motifs.

These techniques were introduced into Portuguese culture by the king Manuel I after a visit to Seville in 1503. Applied to pavements and walls, this form of Craftsmanship is now part of the Portuguese cultural identity. They usually evoke vital historical and mythical scenes from Portugal’s past, so they are treasured for their storytelling which prevails despite the passage of time. This form of artwork can be found both indoors and outdoors, especially in churches, palaces, schools, restaurants, bars, hospitals, subway stations and even in some ordinary houses.

Portuguese Hand-painted Tiles – A Ode to Craftsmanship The Art of Hand Painted Tiles Behind Boca do Lobos Luxury Furniture 13

The process of making these beautiful hand-painted tiles is very meticulous and an ode to Craftsmanship. 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 done on a parchment paper that is drawn with a graffiti pen and stamped with a coal pencil on to the tile. The paintwork is done with water-based paint, a powder that is mixed with water to work the density.

Portuguese Hand-painted Tiles – A Ode to Craftsmanship The Art of Hand Painted Tiles Behind Boca do Lobos Luxury Furniture 9 683x1024

Although being an integral part of the Portuguese culture, this technique is being lost since there has been less and less apprentices interested in learning this intricacies behind it. However, Boca do Lobo is committed to preserving this elaborate yet refined form of Craftsmanship which inspired the Heritage series, a collection that displays different layers, each one illustrating a different story.

Heritage Sideboard
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Heritage Sideboard
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Heritage Sideboard

A unique sideboard lined with hand painted tiles. In its interior there is one door and four drawers fully lined with gold leaf. Contains two shelves made in bronze glass. The epitome of Craftsmanship!

Heritage Cabinet
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Heritage Cabinet
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Heritage Cabinet

A statement cabinet, the Heritage can take center stage in the most elegant rooms since its back is also fully hand painted. A lengthy tradition of bespoke and exclusivity to make one-of-kind design pieces. The cabinet is lined with hand painted tiles. In its interior there is one door and four drawers fully lined with golden leaf. Contains two shelves made in bronze glass. The base is made from manually hammered brass. Craftsmanship at its best!

D. Heritage Cabinet
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D. Heritage Cabinet
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D. Heritage Cabinet

This incredible cabinet features, unique finishes and remarkable design elements, inspired by the classic Manueline style. The cabinet body is covered in hand painted azulejo tiles and mirrors. Its legs are made from solid mahogany, and are crafted to a traditional form, finished in high gloss brown lacquer gradient. True Craftsmanship!

Heritage Nightstand
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Heritage Nightstand

Superb for any graceful ambience, this unique nightstand references the importance of history, our ancestors and craftsmanship, with a touch of blue or sepia glamour, for cold or warmer looks.

Heritage Dining Table
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Heritage Dining Table
Portuguese Hand-painted Tiles – A Ode to Craftsmanship Learn With Interior Design Modern Dining Tables Inspired By History 8
Bespoke Heritage Dining Table – Fairmont Hotel, Washington

This 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.

The Heritage Series is an ode to Craftsmanship and a true design inspiration!

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