The sights and lights of Spain

Last month, I attended the Cevisama tile show in Valencia, Spain. In addition to looking at Spanish ceramic tile, I photographed some interesting light fixtures there and in Granada. Enjoy. — Jim Carper

Hotel Palacio de los Patos, Granada, Spain

Hotel Palacio de los Patos, Granada, Spain

Chandelier in a Cevisama booth

Chandelier in a Cevisama booth

Street lamp, Granada, Spain

Street lamp, Granada, Spain

Library in the Andalucia Museum of Memory, Granada

Library in the Andalucia Museum of Memory, Granada

Factory-fresh ceramic tiles

factory_bicyclesLast week, Tile of Spain invited 12 architects, designers, and journalists to Spain to show off the country’s innovative ceramic tile manufacturers. We spent three days in Valencia, visiting booths (or “stands,” as they say in Europe) at Cevisama, the tile show.
   We also toured two factories in the Castellon region, Spain’s center of tile manufacturing. One makes tiles with powdered ingredients that are formed in high-pressure molds. The other factory forces soft clay through an extruder, and the tiles are cut to size. Processes like ink-jet printing and drum rollers lay down textures, patterns, or images on the tiles before they are glazed and fired. Manufacturers turn out products that look like wood, marble, wallpaper, photographs, and, well, ceramic tile.
   The manufacturing process is impressive, but so are the factory buildings themselves. Skylights brighten (without shadows) the warehouses and factory floors. The day of our tour was chilly and I was expecting to warm up inside, but the 2,000+ F ovens are so well insulated that the heat does not radiate to visitors. The buildings are so vast that employees move around by bicycles. I was expecting to find benches and benches filled with hunched-over grandmothers painstakingly hand-glazing ceramic tiles.  Not so. Abuela must have been sunning herself at la playa. These factories are heavily automated (check out the videos). I swear that our delegation was larger than the day shift.
   In later posts, I’ll show you some new tile designs. —Jim Carper

factory_drum_roller

factory_inkjet

Ho-ho-hola!

The Alhambra is on UNESCO's World Heritage List.

The Alhambra is on UNESCO's World Heritage List.


Put down the shopping list. Stop trimming the tree. Forget about what you want tell the boss at the holiday party. You have to start working on your “Why I Want To Go To Spain” essay. Seriously. Tile of Spain is taking three architects and/or designers on a  free trip to Spain.
   The “Reign in Spain” tour starts in Madrid and moves on to Granada, home to the world-famous Alhambra Palace. Then you will travel to Valencia (birthplace of paella) for Cevisama 2010, the big ceramic tile trade show.
   Here’s the deal: You must be an accredited architect or interior designer with current affiliation with AIA, ASID and/or IIDA and living in the United States. You must be available to travel from Feb. 5-13, 2010. Finally, you are expected to participate in all activities of the junket. Tile of Spain says, “there will be free time for exploring the cities on your own but most activities, meals and excursions are planned beforehand and are required.”
   What’s next? Download and complete the application form at http://www.spaintiles.info/eng/index.asp then  return the application by deadline of Dec. 23, 2009. Good luck. —Jim Carper