Majolica Ceramics of Caldas da Rainha, Portugal

This page takes a quick look at the colorful earthenware ceramics,
known as majolica and faience, of Caldas da Rainha.

The collection of the Museu de Cerâmica features local and imported tiles and ceramics from the 16th century to the present. 
 
The Faianças Artísticas Bordalo Pinheiro Ceramic Factory also has a museum. Their web page (in Portuguese and English) includes their product catalog and contact information.
Antonio Manuel Fonseca designed for the company for many years. Although retired, he is still a design consultant.
The factory museum includes tools and techniques, from design to finished products. Clay was pressed into molds to produce arista relief tiles like the ones on the wall. These clay, plaster, and wooden molds were used to make roof tiles and bricks. Clay was pushed through metal templates to extrude coils of varying sizes.
A variety of unfinished and glazed creatures are on display in the museum.
A factory studio tour shows the production steps. Complicated sculptures are slip cast in several parts. The mold seams are scraped and smoothed, then the casts are joined together. The pieces are fired (bisqued) after they have completely dried.

Bisqued pieces are hand painted with several different glazes. The glazes will mature and change color during firing. Pieces used to be fired inside saggars in wood-fired kilns to protect them from the ash. Today the work is fired on shelves in clean-firing electric kilns.

 

LINKS:
Earthenware Tiles of Portugal  
Silva Foundation Workshops, Lisbon, Portugal
Tiles and Ceramics of Talavera de la Reina, Spain
Tiles and Ceramics of Seville, Spain  
Earthenware Ceramics of Ubeda, Spain   
Monje Ceramics of Lora del Rio, Spain
Capelo of Guanajuato, Mexico
Angelica Escarcega Rodriguez of Guanajuato, Mexico
José Luis Méndez Ortega of Guanajuato, Mexico
Guevara Ceramics of Guanajuato, Mexico
Tecpatl Ceramics of Guanajuato, Mexico
Maya Reproductions of the Yucatan
Pottery of Western Cameroon
Traditional Dunzi Production in Yaoli, China
Porcelain production in Jingdezhen, China
Roof Tiles in Bali, Indonesia  
History of Mayolica in Spain and Mexico
Carol Ventura's Home Page 

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Web page, photographs, and text by Carol Ventura.