I have recently falling love with Bohemian Chic and its Moroccan and Oriental roots. One of the most magical aspects of Moroccan interiors is the incredibly detailed ornament found in the tile and wood work. One of the most well known tile crafts within Moroccan design is the style Zellige. Zellige refers to a type of teracata tile that has a unique painting and assembly process. This use of Zellige was first established during the Hispano-Moresque period and appeared in Morocco in the 10th century. When it was first developed there was only a small color palette used of white and brown, but in the 17th century the palette wads bordered to all of the brilliant colors that you now associate with Moroccan design.
Zellige is not just an craft, it is an art form and continues to be an art form for many of the maâlems or master craftsmen of Morocco. The highly technique skill of cutting the stone to precise geometrical designs to be fit together, is taught from childhood. Many of these geometrical patterns were a necessary development as decoration for Mosques since the islamic religion prohibits human imagery. These beautiful designs can be seen in tradition oriental settings and within contemporary design. The glazing and enameling process that takes place after assembling the tiles has become a design all itself and now being applied to simple ceramic tiles. The uneven and varied color and surface that come from the glazing process is what makes this unique design so desirable. Zellige is often used as a flooring wall or ceiling treatment but you can also find the tile work inlayed in furnishings. If you don’t really want to put in some new flooring, this type of design has become pretty popular so try finding a small accessory piece that will show of that amazing craft and make a statement in your home.