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Date: Dec 20 2018 1:00PM
The History of Tiles
The tiles4all family have been in business for over 100 years with 40 years of experience within the tiling industry but that is just a drop in the ocean. If we take a look back you may be surprised that tiles have been around for thousands of years. We can go right back to the 4th century BC to find the first recorded European examples of Greek mosaic floors and even further back in antiquity to the middle east to find the Assyrians using alabaster relief tiles and also glazed clay tiles that were often used as friezes, depicting impressive technical ability and decorative artistry. Some of these conquering countries helped to spread artistic influences and ideas across continents. Of course we are all aware of the superb examples of exquisite Roman mosaics still being unearthed today with remarkable finds of decorated ornamental floors that have survived for centuries, a true testament of durability and style! Pompeii has some of the most remarkable examples of mosaics probably the works of artisans and craftsmen from Alexandria. Of course the Romans were notorious for their dominance across Europe and with them they brought mosaic floors into Germany and France and on into Britain. The real turning point came with the downfall of Rome and the rise of Christianity and with this came the building of sumptuous churches adorned with mosaics. Though mosaics would never go out of fashion a more cost effective approach was found during the middle ages, through this time many developments were made. It was during this period that wet clay tiles were pressed with designs and the depressions filled with manganese, chrome oxide and yellow ochre, then a lead sulphide was used to glaze the tiles. We often find that the style of tiles often follows the current architectural fashions and with elaborate palaces, churches and monastery’s tile designs followed suit.
We start to see majolica tiles in use from the 12th century onwards, imported into Italy from Majorca, initially used as floor tiles these decorative tiles soon migrated to the walls as ornate coverings even today we can still find artisans replicating traditional methods that have been passed down.
New products are often influenced by different sources with trading and imports being a huge opportunity to exchange and build upon new ideas some of our most sought after designs would never have progressed without outside influences. Delft came into production during the 17th century its influence coming from Chinese porcelain. The use of these Chinese inspired designs became a very desirable product lasting into modern times and still in demand today.