The way of mixing the clay makes all the difference in the final appearance of these floors. The ancient ovens, whose traditions in creating such beautiful handcrated compositions date back to the early middle ages, have left us some spectacular floors that we will enjoy for centuries to come!
The Nocciolato tile is made of this typical Po valley clay. The lumps or colour spots which are on the surface of the tiles are due to the clays of different natures. When rivers were without banks, the floods brought clays of different colours and compositions from different places: the Apennines and the Ligurian Alpes. These clays, sedimenting and overlapping in layers, have formed the current alluvional soils that are so characteristic for the Nocciolato.
For centuries the extraction of clays by small furnaces has been done manually. After wetting the clay mixture with hoes, trying to uniform the mixture which normally is rather rough and cooking, clays of different nature show with knots of different colour and intensity. The clay used for the Omogeneo tiles is made more homogeneous by shaping it manually instead of using kneading machines, which reduces far more internal blowholes and lumps. With appropriate mixtures of clays colour shades of this floor range from straw-yellow to pink to deep red.
The Varicoloured Variegato Lombard was traditionally used between the 16th and 20th centuries in the areas of Lombardy, Piedmont and Canton Ticino to pave both homes and historic homes. The characteristic of this floor is the contemporary presence in the tiles of two clays of different composition, which after cooking show distinctly red-orange and white-straw colored colors. The veins are produced by the manipulation of two clay mixed separately and mixed in layers with special techniques. The clay is printed manually in wood molds after the mixing process and is processed in such a way that the desired pattern and color scheme are created. Each tile is then dried in a drying room (minimum 3 days depending on the thickness of the tile) after which the tile is baked in a temperature of > 1200 degrees. The duration of the baking process is on average 3 to 5 days after which the tile is slowly cooled down. The adhered Lombard tile is grounded flat after baking. This also applies to the side surfaces (calibrate), making the adhered Lombard completely seamless and in combination with other tiles that have undergone the same operations. Desirable patterns and color combinations are possible.