A very long time in the past, someplace within the 18th century, prosperous Chettiyars in Tamil Nadu imported tiles for his or her mansions from Europe. The Chettiyars had been a culturally wealthy and lively group. Their delicacies was distinctive. They had been obsessed with structure and constructed many beautiful temples. Most of all, their inventive inclinations meant their houses had been intricately constructed mansions the place artwork and crafts adorned the rooms. Solely one of the best European tiles would do for houses like these. However after vital put on and tear, the tiles grew to become onerous to restore. Repairs had been additionally an costly affair since fairly often there have been no spares to depend on. That’s when the thought of making a home-grown retailer of tiles got here to life. We do not know which member of the royal household bought the brainwave. However whoever she or he was, they set in movement a complete trade that has fascinated individuals for many years and that additionally economically helps the entire village the place these tiles are made. Athangudi village within the Shivagagai district of Chettinad was an enterprising spot. The Chettiyars determined to deploy the craft and creativity of those villagers to make replicas of imported tiles. Since they had been being made regionally, it was capable of convey a number of vibrant colors and daring designs to the combination. What began as a back-up possibility for European tiles quickly began to thrive, and is immediately one of many nation’s most well-known tile craft hubs. What makes the tiles particular? What makes residence builders, architects and inside designers fall in love with them?
They’re completely handmade: In an period when technology-mediated creativity is turning into increasingly prevalent, Athangudi tiles are a defiant, silent testimony to the facility of handmade artwork. Every tile is made by hand, utilizing a mixture of white cement, sand, and pigments. The tiles are forged from regionally accessible clay that’s burnt and glazed. Colors are blended with white cement and poured utilizing a mould on a glass base, which helps give the tile a easy floor and sheen. After the design is filled with cement, it’s left to dry within the solar after which cured in water for a few days earlier than being sun-dried once more. The laying course of includes a particular method and the usage of sand, cement, and lime. Masons are skilled to deftly place the tiles at precisely the best degree, permitting for variations in tile thickness and weight, with out camouflaging the imperfects of how they’re laid. They function distinctive, earthy designs: In the event you’re constructing a mansion, then Athangudi tiles will give your own home a captivating vibe. It’s because they’re vibrant, earthy, and have distinctive designs which principally contain a play of geometric patterns and line drawings. Generally there are simply plain colors. There are additionally floral patterns. The designs and hues actually set them aside from common ceramic or vitrified tiles. They age properly: They earn a sure shine over time and the tiny cracks or chasms which might be fashioned solely add to the country look that many residence house owners wish to obtain. A splash of tradition: Athangudi tiles function a number of attention-grabbing motifs from tradition and society. For instance, a few of them function the evocative Annapakshi motif. These sort of tiles will add a contact of romance to a lounge or a courtyard. A pink Athangudi tiled flooring with teak furnishings is usually a nice mixture for individuals who prefer to hold their residence design spare however elegant.
All of the bungalows in Amanvana, a luxurious resort function Athangudi tiles. They arrive in three colors – pink, yellow, and inexperienced to represent earth, solar, and nature respectively. The tiles add a level of rustic opulence not present in another resort in Coorg. It’s a pleasure to stroll barefoot on them. In the event you’re constructing or renovating a house, attempt these tiles as a substitute of ordinary ceramic or vitrified tiles. Demand for Athangudi tiles has dropped in latest instances owing to competitors however maintaining them alive is a method of retaining witnesses to an attractive, bygone period.