Timeless tiles

Portugal has produced tiles (“azulejos”) since the 15th century. This production reached its golden age in the 18th century, when beautiful tiles were used to decorate grand palaces and elegant manor houses.

Wouldn’t it be great if you could travel back in time and order tiles from an 18th century master craftsman? Well, you can. Bicesse, a tile factory near Lisbon, makes tiles of pure clay, painted and glazed by hand, just like in the 18th century.

These tiles have the exquisite color nuances of a Rothko painting and the irregular reflections of an ancient mirror. Like fingerprints, no two tiles are exactly alike. Each is a unique work of art.

Cerâmica de Bicesse, Rua da Chapaneira, 81, Bicesse2645-325 Alcabideche (Cascais), Tel. 214 690 528, email geral@ceramicabicesse.com, click here for website.

The light of Lisbon


Almost fifty years ago, when Jackie was young, she traveled from England to Sweden. There, she met a young Portuguese called José Catarino. She liked his handsome looks and calm demeanor.  Jackie returned to England and José to Portugal. And that was supposed to be the end of the story.

But Jackie could not forget José. So, she looked for a job in Lisbon. She found one, as an English tutor to the children of a wealthy Portuguese family. As her flight landed in Lisbon, she marveled at the warm light that made the rooftops look pink. She promised silently that, if she could, she would stay in this enchanted city. It took her some time to find José. But, once she found him, she never let him go.

Jackie Catarino became a painter. Her canvases burst with bold shapes of contrasting colors. And, under the edges, where the shapes meet, lies the shimmering light that she first saw on the rooftops of Lisbon.