The ceramics of Gaudí

The legacy that Gaudí left under his name is very extensive, varied and, above all, admired. It would not be easy to select one of his creations as the best, or choose the one that made him unique as a genius and architect. Even so, the trencadís cannot be unnoticed. The use of small irregular pieces in different shades of color to build rounded shapes from flat tiles is one of the most representative techniques in Gaudí’s work. In fact, he not only used it as a decorative element in small pieces, but it forms a large part of the architecture he designed. This could be made of various materials, such as marble or glass, but the most common was the use of ceramics. Why? Because it had a great role in the era of Modernism, and contemporary at the time, Gaudí adopted it as one of the most characteristic features of his work.

Since its first creations, Gaudí has ​​already used ceramic coatings as an essential element in his work, and he did it in an organic way thanks to the trencadís. With an abstract use of color, the facades naturally imitated the landscape, and we find this dynamic represented in several of its buildings. El Capricho, in Comillas, shows predominance of ceramic pieces in relief representing sunflowers, alternating with green leaves-like pieces. Casa Vicens also shows outside small yellow flowers, which were part of the territory before Gaudí start building. And we could continue to list examples, such as the blue and green tiles of the Güell Pavilions, or the variety of forms and drawings with ceramics at the Parc Güell. These ceramic pieces from the Gaudí workshop are exhibited at the Gaudí Exhibition Center, such as the yellow daisies of Casa Vicens or the four-leaf clover with wild roses.

All of them carry a great deal of work to achieve this coating adapted to the curved surfaces of its architecture, since it was necessary to find the color and the ceramic form that fits in every moment. These came from entire tiles that Gaudí bought from its suppliers, which then crumbled and adapted to the works. Other times he took advantage of defective stocks to be reused, recovering broken tiles from the ruins of nearby buildings. There is evidence in several bills and autographed documents that we can also find in the exhibition Walking with Gaudí. Do not miss it!