Friday, June 15, 2007

Friday—odds and ends

A Tale of Tile
Friday seems like a good day for randomness, catching up, rambling. Here is a photo that I took in Mexico that I really love.

This was a stairway that went up between two buildings with beautiful blue and white tiles set on the risers of each step. Pattern junkie that I am, I have always loved tiles—especially Mexican tiles. Did you know that they have their design roots in Islamic art? Spain was invaded and occupied by the Moors (North Africans) from 710 AD into the 1400's. During this occupation the Islamic Moors had a tremendous influence on the art and architecture of Spain, including the intricately patterned tilework. Over the centuries the Spanish made subtle changes to the designs. When the Spanish conquered the New World, they brought that tradition of tilework with them and the Mexican potters imposed their own individual style on it.

This is the bathroom of the room where we stayed in Taxco.

Years ago, when we lived in Ashland, we added a solar sunroom to our house, with a tile floor. It was two steps down from the dining room and I wanted to face the risers with Mexican tiles that would be visible from the sunroom. I scoured three cities looking for Mexican tile and could find no one that carried them. (This was before the internet) One store said they used to be able to get them, but no more, however they still had a box of samples and said they would sell the samples to me cheap if I wanted them. It wasn't exactly what I had in mind, but I took what I could get and used them, as you see above.

Several years ago when I was visiting my old friend and neighbor, Muriel, in Ashland, she introduced me to the woman who had most recently moved into our old house and she took me into the house to see the changes she had made to it—all good and tasteful updates. I was a little surprised to see that the Mexican tiles were still on the steps and I told her I had put them there. She said that was one thing she would never change. She said that was the final detail that sold her on the house.


  1. I wouldn't change those tiles, either. Loved catching up on the 60's with you and hope your blahs have gone away. I think Mercury must have been in retrograde that day...or even the whole week.

  2. Oh lovely tiles! You just don't get details like that on buildings these days.