I regard wall tiles as a painter would a canvas. The clay tile is used purely as a base to which I can add whatever I want. The problem with this art form, though, is that unlike painting, where one can repaint an area, there is no room for me to err.
- Esias Bosch
Please note that the book about Bosch on this site covers his work from the beginning of his career to the making of lustre tiles, a period that ended in 1987 when the book was written.
In 1988, when lustres had lost their charm, Bosch turned to making very large and extremely thin vitrified wall tiles with compelling depth of colour and a translucent quality. The tiles were decorated with multiple layers of underglaze ceramic stains mixed with china clay and various frits under a clear glaze, and fired several times.
He described the making of the tiles in this way: ‘The clay took me a long time to develop as I wanted to keep shrinkage as low as possible. The entire technique demanded hundreds of experiments. I first built a small kiln in which I made experiments for a whole year long before I built the large, flat kilns especially for the tiles.
The panels are built up in layers and the entire process requires approximately seven firings – the result of the multiple firings is that it gives to the work great depth of colour and interesting shades of colour. These tiles are not completely flat and never reflect the light uniformly, which seems to impart something dynamic to the work. I make the panels in different sizes – usually the smallest are 1,250 x 1,250 m and the large ones measure 2, 500 x 1, 250 m.’
As with all Bosch’s previous work, this work also very soon became sought after and reached the attention of collectors. These tiles moved him ever closer to a dream he harboured — to eventually stop working in ceramics and devote himself solely to oil painting, watercolour and drawing.
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COPYRIGHT | In terms of South Africa’s Copyright Act, No. 98 of 1978, no reproduction of Esias Bosch artwork is allowed without permission from the copyright holders. Any person who reproduces this reproduction or any other Esias Bosch artwork in any form, without the permission of the copyright holders, will be deemed to have infringed the copyright and will be liable for a damages claim at the instance of the copyright holders.