Ceramic - Pottery Dictionary

by Susan Mussi

OCCUPATIONS - Tiles that illustrate the ways of working.

ca: OFICIS - Rajoles que il·lustren les formes de treballar. (EN CONSTRUCCIÓ)

es: OFICIOS - Azulejos que ilustran las formas de trabajar.(EN CONSTRUCCIÓN)

Occupations are one tile designs that illustrate, with figures, the different ways of working. They are painted with the Majolica method, which was brought to Spain by the Arabs. When the Arab influence declined it became an illustrated method of informing the illiterate pubic.

In the past the size of the tiles was 13×13cm and are now 15×15cm. They depicted workmen doing everyday jobs; glass blowers, carpenters and barbers. There are hundreds of designs and the different ones illustrating the same subject are joined together to form a large picture, showing the different stages of work; making wine, bread, oil and many other specialties.

The method spread along the Mediterranean coast and there was many small businesses that went through the whole process, from digging the clay out of the earth to taking the finished pieces to be sold at the local towns and markets and many had their own illustrative way of signing their work, one was the way the birds were painted.

In the first three photos show a) Lady with washing; b) Barber; c) Glass blower and the next are pictures that tell the stories of d) Making wine; e) Bakery; f) Making bread

Remember all one tile design of the same size can be mixed to make the picture you want to the size you require.

To see more go to occupations and collections in my web