We hold weekly tours of our factory, allowing visitors to see clay being pressed and trimmed and our army of kilns firing. By far, the most enchanting stop is the bulb-glazing room—a sun-drenched, ethereal space where our bulb-glazers (we call them “the Bee-Gees”) sit in zen-like quiet, intently adding glaze to our polychrome tile.
Each tile can take from 5 minutes to as much as 1 hour to color. The process is not unlike a paint-by-number: The glazers follow a labeled map of their finished piece for specific colorway details. They use bulb syringes fitted with tips to pool glaze between the tile’s raised lines, a very old process known as “cuenca.”
The Bee-Gees are known for their surgeon-steady hands. Their art takes from three to six months to learn—and this is even with the art background that most of them have already. They all take a lot of pride in what they do. That’s why they sign the back of every tile they glaze. Turn your own tile over to see.
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© 2016 Motawi Tileworks.
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