Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Taos A to Z ... and Tiles

For those of you who have emailed me commenting on the beautiful index page in our Taos A to Z section, the A to Z feature was designed and built by Jean, using graphics of Mexican tiles for its alphabetical index. She spent hours upon hours taking the original tile images and giving them the special digital artistic twist they needed for the A to Z headings. I love to look through it just to enjoy the graphics. And writing the actual entries has been a lot of fun for both of us, since we so love to share everything we know about Taos, Santa Fe, and the Great Southwest. There are some amazing and amusing stories to be found in Taos A to Z. And we will be adding to this feature periodically for years to come.

The beautiful patterned tiles Jean used in Taos A to Z are Talavera tiles. Handmade in Mexico, Talavera tiles have all the character, charm and imperfections of handcrafted pieces. They are not all completely flat, square, or exactly the same size or thickness. They have color and shade variations even within the same tile. Their glaze has crazing, which can be brought out by using a dark grout. This is all part of their appeal.

The imperfections of these special tiles complement rustic and Southwestern decor. Not just used in the kitchen and bathroom, Talavera tiles are embedded in adobe walls, cover stair risers, and are even used as coasters. As in all geometric patterned tiles, the corner designs on Talavera tiles form a second pattern when combined.

Beside the geometric patterns, Talavera tile designs include birds and other animals, flowers, numbers, and letters. A variety of beautiful solid colors are also available, providing a wealth of opportunities for the home improvement enthusiast or muralist to get really creative!

Border tiles are also available to finish off Talavera tile projects. Often these tiles are made in such small runs that a particular unusual design will be available only once, so when shopping for Talavera tiles, you might want to make sure you purchase enough to finish your project, and perhaps a few spare tiles to replace cracked or chipped tiles down the road. ~Aimee

For more information on Mexican tile, border tiles, knobs and hand painted sinks, visit one of our local Taos merchants, Vargas Tile.

1 comment:

  1. This is exactly what I have been looking for! I wanted to DIY the tiles in my kitchen. So this one helps. I am very excited to get started.