Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Terracotta Murals Have an Earthy Freshness and Natural Eexquisiteness

August 26, 2008 by  
Filed under Bathrooms, Flooring, Kitchen, Lawn & Garden

Recently terracotta murals have gained popularity. Terracotta is a kind of hard ceramic clay that is made after being semi-fired. The processing of the clay makes it waterproof. Murals are large images that are fixed directly to walls of ceilings.

Terracotta is used in making jars, plates, cups and even pipes. The word terracotta also refers to a particular shade of natural colour that is a mixture of brown and orange. Ceramic tile murals are considered to be an excellent choice in interior as well as exterior decorating.

To make terracotta tiles the right type of clay is required. This is refined and known as ‘grog’. It is partly dried and then either cast into moulds or manually given the required shape. After a second round of drying it is put into a kiln place on top of a pit containing combustible material that is lastly set on fire. This is known as pit firing.

After completion of this stage the hot ceramic murals are covered with sand allowing it to cool slowly. The product is now unglazed. This means it is not waterproof as yet. But it can be used for underground purposes like carrying water. In some places the tradition continues. The water tastes earthy and fresh.

There are innumerable uses of terracotta – pots for keeping plants, garden sculpture, oil lamps and even cooking pots and as ovens too. Extremely environment friendly and hygienic one can eat or drink from it and then throw it away. Earth goes back to earth and there is no problem about harming the environment. Some can be even recycled.

Apart from the typical orange and brown shade it can be also painted bright colours. Use of terracotta goes back to ancient days. One of the best examples is the terracotta warriors of ancient China. Figures of terracotta were also used in ancient Greece. French sculptor Carrier-Belleuse created The Abduction of Hippodameia, a scene from Greek Mythology. A centaur is shown kidnapping a lady on her wedding day.

American artist Louis Sullivan extensively used terracotta for his painted murals for his ornamental designs. Terracotta tiles were used in Birmingham, England during Victorian days. There was a surfeit of terracotta sculpture in West Africa before the coming of the colonial powers. Terracotta figures with religious significance were found in the sites of Mohenjo-daro and Harappan in the Indian sub-continent.

Terracotta is also used in chemistry. As opposed to bronze and marble, sculpting with terracotta is fairly easy and affordable. It is lighter than other materials and yet equally durable. Today it is used for roofing and flooring. Terracotta murals are the craze when it comes to wall or ceiling decoration especially since they are easily available.

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