Royal Tichelaar Makkum is the only company in the Netherlands that has produced tiles and pottery using traditional techniques since the 17th century. The tiles are made from Frisian sea clay mixed with marl. When the clay is dried, after it has been shaped, the tile is fired for the first time. Then an opaque layer of tin-glaze is applied, which is prepared according to an old secret recipe. Undecorated tiles are then fired a second time. Tiles that are to be decorated first pass to the painters after being glazed. They apply the outlines of a pattern onto the raw tin-glaze using charcoal powder, which they elaborate and paint with a fine brush made of cow's hair. This process is known as the majolica technique. It gives the tiles a deep, radiant effect as the outlines of the pattern blend with the white tin-glaze in the heat. In the past the majolica technique was also applied to 'Delft pottery'. Royal Tichelaar Makkum is the only company that has remained continuously faithful to this technique. The company supplies an original Dutch product, which has a direct link to the ceramic tradition that earned the Netherlands its spectacular fame in the past.
Because Makkum lines are applied by hand, anything is possible: any pattern you could wish for, any colour and even any format if required. For these reasons the services of Royal Tichelaar Makkum are regularly called upon for restoration projects. We can also produce tiles that match an upholstery design or a personal design. The price for these kinds of tiles is not even that much higher.
Makkum tiles are supplied in two standard formats: 10 by 10 and 13 by 13 cm, or 4 and 5 inches. The corners of the tiles can be finished off in several different ways: without any corner trim, with the 'ox head' or the 'spider'. One can choose tiles with or without crackle. Because the tiles are handmade, each one is unique. Minute variations in size, shape and surface provide the tiled wall, for example of a fireplace, hallway, kitchen or bathroom, with a wonderful, vibrant effect.