Handmade Terracota Tiles
Our handmade terracotta tiles emanate from Spain, not far inland from the city of Valencia amongst the orange groves for which that area is famous. The production is third generation and little has changed over time apart that the clay is now air-dried under polytunnels in case of storms. The clay is first slapped into moulds, then adjusted and smoothed out by hand. The terracotta tiles are then immediately turned out of the moulds and left to bake in the hot Spanish sun, until they are ready to be placed in the kiln. Once the terracotta tiles are dry enough to bake an old brick tunnel kiln is then filled to the brim and small fires are lit inside. The tunnel is then bricked up and olive stones are fed through ventilation shafts in the top of the tunnel to stoke the fires. A very distinctive smell. The kiln is heated to 1050 centigrade, at which point the moulded clay becomes a fired terracotta tile. The kiln then takes a few days to cool and in fact the whole firing process from bricking up to opening lasts approximately 4 days. Once completed the tiles are removed and checked for imperfections. During the firing process different parts of the kiln reach different temperatures and this gives the tiles different shades of colour. The terracotta tiles from near the centre of the kiln are a deeper colour and the ones from the periphery are lighter. Once fully cooled the tiles are palletised and ready for sale within Spain or exported to wherever they are required. We believe that these tiles are not only beautiful once laid but contain years of history and craftsmanship that has been obtained through years of careful manufacturing.