Feeling Blue

We visit Macau once a year I imagine and it was until 1999 a Portuguese colony. So it was no surprise at all to see the familiar blue and white tile work everywhere in Portugal. I like it and have plenty of shots to support that assertion. Here are a few.


A traditional tile set against a strong orange wall.

A traditional tile set against a strong orange wall.

Fruit carrier




Station mural

The train is on time

The train is on time

From the grandest scale to the smallest detail, whether the practical clock or with the colonial  (?) tang of the exotic fruit vendors, the tiles draw the eye and decorate the towns and villages. So much better than a plain brick or stone wall. I hope the tradition survives.

19 thoughts on “Feeling Blue

  1. I am rather fond of blue and white tiles and pottery. When we first started with the interweb and I discovered eBay I spent way too much time and money bidding on this stuff….. https://www.google.com/search?q=staffordshire+blue+pottery&client=firefox-a&hs=gjs&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&channel=sb&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ei=R5K5U72nFMugyASwnoLADg&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAg&biw=2560&bih=1280#imgdii=_
    Sorry for the ginormous link. Needless to say, most of what I managed to win the right o buy was not the good stuff. I really like our moocow milk pitcher. 🙂

    These are some lovely examples of the art, Andrew. My favorite is the fruit basket lady. These also remind me of a NatGeo article I read years ago about the tiled mosques in Afganistan. I hope they were not destroyed.

    So, I take it, the travel agent who said there was nothing to see has obviously no taste for tiles.

    • I doubt if the travel agent even noticed the tiles, Steve. My aunt had a pair of Staffordshire dogs, which we all loved. A cousin whipped them out of the house after she died. Nobody else got a look in. I have a miniature pair of dogs but I don’t collect. I would not know good from bad.

    • We were told the best time of year is late September – cooler temperatures and still low rainfall but I suspect any season except high summer is good.

  2. Wonderful stuff Andrew. They are works of art in their own right. I have admired the individual tiles before, but never seen them as wall-filling designs. That really is an impressive sight

  3. I love the snail sticker brazenly stuck on to the tiles. The church is fantastic – tile heaven? My dutch grand-parents had the most wonderful tiled fireplace in their farm in Holland – ancient delft tiles depicting biblical scenes – I’m sure that’s where my love and appreciation of tiles comes from. The tradition of tiles is still strong in Spain. I can’t imagine the Iberian peninsula ever being without them – they are so much part of the heritage. Andrew, your photographs are a tile lovers dream!

  4. We have a friend whose grandmother was from Portugal and for years gave her the classic blue tiles for birthday and Christmas gifts. Your photographs are wonderful, and I’ve sent your link to my friend for her to enjoy, too.

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