As an artist, I love the sensuousness of working in the encaustic medium which I discovered in 2008. Encaustic painting involves beeswax, resin and pigments in varying combinations. They are mixed together and applied to a panel in layers which are fused with a torch or heat gun. This is where the name comes from. The Greek work “encaustikos” means to heat or burn.
Handmade products are one of the easiest ways to create an artful kitchen. In fact there was a whole turn of the century style devoted to that concept. The Arts and Crafts movement (1880-1910) was a reaction to the industrial age of machinery and mass production. Proponents felt that items crafted by human hands were imbued with a soulfulness that was lacking in factory produced goods. I think they had a point and, although mass production definitely has its perks, it’s nice to include unique handcrafted tiles, tableware or linens in your kitchen.
Before we get too crazy with the art here (I’m so sure we will!) I wanted to share some solid info about tile from the man who knows it best, Ryan Fasan. I had the pleasure of meeting “THE tile man” on my recent trip to the trade show Cevisama with Tile of Spain. Ryan is a professional consultant for all things tile related and also spoke this past week at the trade show Coverings in Orlando. Explaining and sharing his vision and understanding of ceramic tile is what he does best and he has graciously agreed to dish his knowledge here with us at Artful Kitchens. Take it away, Ryan! (For your viewing pleasure I am including some photos from some of the Spanish tile brands seen at Cevisama15)
Welcome to today’s installment of Tile Tuesday! The second half of my adventure with Tile of Spain took us to Valencia, location of Cevisama the annual trade show held to showcase the latest innovations introduced by the Spanish tile industry.
Welcome the the third installment of Tile Tuesday. If you missed the last two you can catch them here and here.
The second half of my adventure with Tile of Spain took us to Valencia, the location of Cevisama, annual trade show held to showcase the latest innovations introduced by the Spanish tile industry.
Attending Cevisama was an introduction to a whole world of possibilities! If you’ve been following Tile Tuesday, you already know that ceramic tile is a part of the Spanish culture dating back to Roman and Moorish times. Tile is nothing new but the uses and innovations in the ceramic industry certainly are! In the coming weeks we’ll talk about some of the big trends I saw that you can incorporate into your own kitchen.
Before we do that let’s cover some good to know, sometimes misunderstood, facts about tile. For your viewing pleasure I have inserted a little eye candy to keep you on your toes!
WHAT IS IT?
Ceramic tile is a perfect balance of the classical elements of earth (clay), air, water and fire. All are involved in its creation. All tile is made of either red or white clay.
CERAMIC, PORCELAIN OR BOTH?
One big question I get regards porcelain vs. ceramic. Guess what? Porcelain tiles ARE ceramic tiles. There is only one technical difference. A tile must have a water absorbtion rate of .05 to be classified as porcelain.
Typically porcelain tiles are denser, less porous and as a result more durable than other ceramics. You can also get them “rectified” which means crisp sharp perfectly squared edges that mean a tight fit with minimal grout lines.
IS PORCELAIN THE SAME COLOR ALL THE WAY THROUGH?
In the past I believed that a porcelain tile was the same color all the way through so that a small chip would be no big deal but I learned that is not always true. You CAN get something called “through-body porcelain” which means that if the tile is not glazed, the color and texture are consistent all the way through the tile. However porcelain tiles can also have surface glazes and textures that are not “through-body”.
WHERE DOES IT GO?
Tiles used for exterior applications are porcelain but not all porcelain tiles are recommended to be used outside. Generally you can put just about any type of tile on the wall but you’re much better off with porcelain on the floor for durability. Remember, although beautiful, glossy finishes are always more slippery than honed, or matte finishes. Got it? Good. Since you made it all the way to the end, I have a special treat for you.
Next Tile Tuesday: Uncovering Valencia with Tile of Spain, perhaps another video slideshow??