The long road to designer tile: Arts & Crafts La Palma
Who was the founder of the Art Nouveau period or on the, the decorated his mansion with cement tiles. Even in churches or public buildings in Europe was the hand-cast tiles from 19. Up to 20. Century, a popular building material - countless examples can be found in about Gaudi's Barcelona or Berlin. The triumph of industrially manufactured ceramic ousted almost completely in the 1950s this arts and crafts. But for some time the cast tile celebrates a comeback. As the last of the Canary Islands two historical manufacturers hold up on La Palma the flag. Of them we present one of today: "Cuadrado Arte" in Fuencaliente.
"There were many false runners and acts of desperation, really get us the first tiles!"Rena and Achim Neumann had it anything but easy, as it ago 15 Years in the South of La Palma began with the production of cast iron tiles. Reason: The know-how of the production of "Baldosines" widely used once on the Canary Islands had been almost completely lost, because too much of the island artisans their knowledge and their machines to South America life, as Franco's military coup 1936 a Spain-wide emigration wave.
So it was a good piece of luck, that Rena and Achim discovered the indispensable basis for their business idea in the last workshop in Tenerife: an old hydraulic press of the company "Bach's Barcelona". Because the "mosaicos artesanales" unable to burn such as modern ceramic tiles, but with many tons of pressure.
But now the trouble began only. Number problem 1: The completely rotted machine had to be brought back up and running. "It took you", Rena is looking back. "The company Bach's Barcelona There was no longer - since the 1970s we have researched and on the phone like crazy, and all spare parts were produced individually."
Number problem 2 came on the heels, because the metal stencils, that cast tiles missing their respective pattern, could be bought of course nor easy: "We have four years welded shapes and soldered", as Rena. "A locksmith would have per piece up to" 14 Days needed, and a template would have to 500 Cost euro - It was just too expensive."
Now the production could begin: Natural rock flour be dissolved and poured with a sharp iron bag in the color range of the respective template - hence the name "Cast tile". While the template is in a Präszisionsrahmen - if the form is drawn out, run the colors easily, What gives its typical "living" character later large tiled surfaces. Then the called mortar mixture of cement and sand on the coat of paint is filled and compacted with the stamp of the hydraulic press. The "cement tile" is ready and must cure slowly. Sounds simple, but Rena white, that the devil is in the detail: "Luckily we had an elderly man in Tenerife, "gave us tips - the rest was learning by doing."
The staying power was worth. Until today tile for tile in elaborate custom-made arises in "Arte Cuadrado" - a more beautiful than the others. About 60 various designs are lovers in the showroom. Here, the range includes classic motifs from the Art Nouveau as the English tea in different colors as well as tiles and borders. Special eye-catcher are the offbeat "Che Guevara" tiles and tiles with typical La Palma motifs such as Geckos, Crows and cacti.
Clearly, that the unique like to travel as a souvenir in all over the world. But also residents on La Palma preen their estates with unique pieces from Fuencaliente.
On request Rena and Achim manufacture cast tiles ever for smaller objects such as tables. "We no longer make floor coverings", as Rena. "The work is incredibly difficult and time consuming – for one square meter we need about three days."
People, who want to make larger objects with cement tiles, must turn to Eloy. The craftsman moved but at the time with his workshop of Tazacorte Mazo. In about two months he reopened La Palma- 24 will tell then about his factory.
"Art Square" is easy to find. Fuencaliente who crosses from North to South, discovered the workshop shortly after the exit on the left side of the road, Carretera General No.. 2.
Opening times: Mondays to Fridays 14 to 17 Clock, on Saturdays from 12 to 17 Clock.
By the way: Rena pulls in her organic garden above the workshop historic house- and farm tomato varieties and the guaranteed hybrid free seed offers.
Round about the 150 La Palma is selected rarities 24 report, as soon as the tasty red guys are ripe in the summer.
Von La Palma 24