Encaustic Tiles: Finding Renewed Popularity
Encaustic Tiles are not so much a trend as an “Embracing Change in the Home Decor Industry.” In other words, it’s an up-to-the-minute style that comes in and out of fashion largely in response to home decorating trends. During the Gothic Revival era, for example, craftsmen made a great effort to revolutionize encaustic tiles and make them available to the general public again. However, in 1935, after reaching a supreme development, the medium had fallen out or otherwise endangered.
Today’s article is a short brief stop at Encaustic Tile and a reminder of how such media fall in and out of vogue.
Glimpse at the History of Encaustic Tiles:
As I already explained the ancient art tradition of Encaustic-Tiling began to lose ground in the 1930s when mass production methods were applied to smalti tile manufacturing and the emergence of modern glass tiles. The ease and affordability of glass tiles and vitreous glass led to the eventual demise of encaustic tiles as a popular ornamental art medium.
Smalti and vitreous glass became a luxurious and almost European-wild medium. The encaustic-tile was driven so far underground, that almost all that remained were ghost forms of an ancient art tradition.
Attempt to present Encaustic Tiles as European-Wide Art Tradition:
While modern decorative mediums have advanced the décor process it hasn’t completely wiped out Encaustic tiles, as it was declared decades ago. As one of the most common decorative art traditions today, encaustic tile is finding renewed popularity, even among wider circles and European architectural styles. Assorted types of encaustic cement tiles were crafted in Spain, Morocco, Italy, India, Mexico, and France along with several other regions.
The first sights of the medium’s comeback were obvious in art markets. As the interest for the “All Things Encaustic” grew, so the number of manufacturers and designers began to increase.
Drawing Back From The Edge:
As the old adage goes, what’s old is new again…
Today encaustic tiles are gaining renewed popularity and usage. Cement is nothing like the 30’s modern concrete mixture. Today the finish is brighter, and the shape is more modern. However, the emphasis is not intended to concrete durability, but to aesthetics and usability. As a result, encaustic tiles became more affordable and accessible for all.
Has Encaustic Tile a Future ?
While witnessing some amazing contemporary concepts being created today, it’s easier to visualize what kind of evolution of encaustic tile we could expect in the near future. However permanent steadiness is irrelevant in the art world of today, homeowners just have to decide if something will go up or down in the next season or two. The artistic new visions and productivity are also a common factor to help it remain steady and rising.
Last but not least, even though encaustic tile can’t regain the edge in the old ways, but it’s currently enjoying a renaissance in popularity due to its classic Mediterranean patterns, durability, and affordability. Ancient and modern manufacturing techniques come together to create new designs and to improve many types of home decor with permanence and chic.
Photos Credits: Maitl and and Poate.
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