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How are Maltese Tiles made?Unlike most ceramic tiles, Maltese tiles are not fired in a kiln, but created under extreme pressure. Liquid cement is coloured with different pigments and poured into a pattern mould placed within a frame. The mould is then lifted out and powdered cement is sprinkled on this layer of coloured cement. The frame is then placed under extreme pressure which binds the elements together, instantly creating a finished Maltese tile. Here you can see the process as carried out by Chris Colombo, one of the few artisans left in Malta. His workshop is on Naxxar Road, San Ġwann.
How long have Maltese tiles been made for?It's hard to determine exactly when Maltese tiles became the flooring of choice in Maltese households though it seems as though they appeared around 300 years ago. Examples of cement tiles can be found at both ends of the Mediterranean basin stretching from Spain to Turkey.
Can I create my own Lazarus Tiles edition with my own tiles?Yes! Simply scroll to the bottom of the items in the Shop section and select Resurrect Your Own. Once purchased, we will be in touch to arrange delivery of the tile after which we will create a bespoke frame for it. We will also name it and write out a certificate to confirm this and the edition number.
Where do the tiles get their names from?Maltese tile makers used to have different names for the various patterns but no set naming system exists. Some examples of the names used were 'Il-Bettiegħa' and 'Għajn il-Baqra'. Since so many of the patterns remind me of the various plants and flowers found locally, I drew on the names of local flora for the different tile patterns.
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