For many years, I have been enticed by the beauty of old Chettinad homes. Not just the grandeur, but its all the intricate details in every nook and corner of the buildings that made me fall in love with this architecture. From the painted glass windows to teak pillars, to carved rosewood doors and most of all the colorful floor tile patterns made me wonder how these once successful business men who traded with all the flourishing civilizations of Greece, Rome, Belgium, Italy in Europe and all over south east Asia, had this wonderful taste in design selection.
Very recently I was in the chettinad heartland to witness the process involved in creating these classic Tiles. I had the privilege to interact with the people from the region who for over 3 generations have been hand-making these beautiful floor tiles.
Veteran artist Sathyanarayanan has passed on his experience in this great tradition to several young workers and still at the age of 70 continues to come in to work every single day. Amidst his busy work schedule he was so kind to explain me each and every step involved in this process. Alongside his photo is my attempt to depict the same.
Unlike ceramic tiles that are made with fire burnt clay, these Chettinad tiles are made only from the local sand and set using concrete backing. It was here where this process of using glass plates to create the glossy glazing on the top of the tiles was pioneered. They create onsite custom brass stencils for any kind of patterns for the floor tiles. Take a look at the colorful work of art at the end of the making process:
These tiles are then set in water to cure for about 10 to 14 days. Then they are ready to add the touch of elegance and traditional beauty to any space! Aegam loves to stay true to its roots and use the work of local artisans in every possible way. We would be super happy to get these beauties to adorn our clients floors . Let us know if you wish to have one of a kind pattern, custom made for your space!