Friday, March 02, 2012

Traditional and modern

Monday really was a day for throwing open the windows and letting in the spring air. That same air is warm and there's a gentle perfume in the it that gives you a Spring rush, time to shake the rugs and wash the floors. Well we do that all the time actually, we would be knee deep in dust if we didn't.  I can fully understand why Spanish houses have tiles not carpets, not only cooler but so easy to keep clean. Quick sweep and then mop using one of the dozens  of floor cleaners available and well Manuel's your uncle so to speak. The type of tiles we have are more rustic, no elaborate designs but not the high gloss type used in new build properties so often in recent years. Those high gloss ones need a purpose made dry mopping to keep them looking good so quite glad we have the stone look rustic type, to our mind they are also more appropriate in a country house. We liked the modern ones in our apartment in Formentera because it was just that a modern apartment
When we were looking for our new home here in Murcia we did view a  variety of types of property both town and country. Many where very old and had wonderful floor tiles which sadly are often destined to be removed or covered, I suspect this place had a dirt floor till it was reformed a number of years ago. Thank goodness the then owners had the good taste not to use the shiny single coloured tiles so common theses days.
Spain had quite an influence on tiles through history and this was greatly effected by the dominance of the Arab culture which followed the invasion of the Iberian peninsula in the 8th century.
Following the Arabs invasion of  the Iberian Peninsula, (modern day Spain),  ceramic-making technology was available to artisans .This gave them different techniques to utilise importantly it was  this glaze that  also provided the basis for decoration and colouring of  tiles. The glaze used on top consisted of green lead and it was decorated on white with a transparent glaze along with highlights of metallic hues. It is amazing when you consider that the wonderful tiles we can still see today at places like the Alhambra in Granada were made so many centuries ago. Somehow I cannot see modern ones lasting so long!

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