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5000 Years of Tiles by Hans Van Lemmen

5000 Years of Tiles

5000 Years of Tiles by Hans Van Lemmen
Oct 22, 2013 | 320 Pages
  • Paperback $39.95

    Oct 22, 2013 | 320 Pages

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Van Lemmen (curator, historian, and president of the Tiles and Architectural Ceramic Society) has written an authoritative and fascinating book that focuses on European clay tiles, but also takes a look at Egyptian, Chinese, Islamic, and American tile history. Hundreds of color photographs of unique and mass-produced floor, wall, stove, flue, and roof tiles from numerous collections and museums illustrate the narrative that examines how tiles have influenced daily life and the economy. As new production methods (such as encaustic and dust-pressed tiles, stencils, transfer printing, and photolithography) developed, decorative tiles became more affordable and widely used. Industrialization and the Arts and Crafts movement encouraged more designers and artists to explore this artistic medium. The detailed historic scholarship is excellent, but the technical information contains several minor errors. For instance, the Chinese did not paint cobalt blue oxide onto biscuit-fired porcelain in Jingdezhen, but painted it onto bone-dry clay, then sprayed clear glaze over it before the first firing. Metric measurements and British spelling and vocabulary are used throughout. Few references are mentioned in the text, and there are no endnotes. A technical glossary is included. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general audience.   –C. A. Ventura, Tennessee Technological University

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