Ads Top

Portuguese Azulejo Tile Inspired Polymer Clay Jewelry by Atrio

American polymer clay artist, Elizabeth Anjos, married a Portuguese and lived in Portugal for over 30 years. She also fell in love with the amazing cultural heritage of Portugal, in particular the centuries old azujelo ceramic tiles. These tin glazed ceramic tiles were used extensively in both interiors and exteriors of building from grand palaces, public buildings, churches and even ordinary houses. 

This husband and wife team's shop, Atrio, is now based in Pennsylvania. It celebrates this wonderful decorative art form through her beautifully crafted image transfer polymer clay work.  

Her hoop earrings are particularly gorgeous as the colorful tile inspired work is seen on either the inside or outside of the flat bottomed hoops. 

Elizabeth explained why she does not use real antique tiles  : 
In our description of each item, we try to call attention to the theft and destruction of antique Portuguese tiles. Even the tiles found in flea markets and antique stores were most likely stolen off a building during the night. We have seen entire home facades disappear during the night to thieves. Thankfully, Portugal just passed a law declaring this theft a crime. We can only hope that it will one day be enforced.

The polymer clay work is also much lighter than ceramic and allows the designer to create designs which would be impossible to do with real tiles. 

What a wonderful way to wear a piece of history!

Photograph by George Jansoone
Azulejo tiles in the former 18th century Convent of Beja, Portugal, now a museum

Before You Go:

This blog may contain affiliate links. I do receive a small fee for any products purchased through affiliate links. This goes towards the support of this blog and to provide resource information to readers. The opinions expressed are solely my own. They would be the same whether or not I receive any compensation. 
Original Post by THE BEADING GEM 


  1. Absolutely stunning! Each piece looks like a little bit of history to wear. So good to know that the tiles were simply the inspiration and were left on the walls.

    These tiles reminds me of a number of houses in Mexico City that were decorated with beautiful tiles similar to these. One day my brother and I packed a lunch and hiked across the city to see 'The House of Tiles'. It was well worth the visit. You can see these in pictures and not grasp just how beautiful these tiles are and when they cover the entire building it's breathtaking.

    Thanks for the share Pearl. Brings back memories of one of the best vacations I've ever had.

  2. What a fabulous way to preserve this art heritage! The pieces are beautiful and have a genuinely vintage look!

  3. What beautiful work. I've seen it in Portugal and have marveled at how beautiful the original is.

  4. they just don't build like that anymore, such a shame. these are a beautiful homage to the art of the ceramic tiles thank you for sharing!

  5. Obrigado! Having grown up with the Portuguese influence this brings back memories of items in our kitchen. As an adult I visited Portugal and the Azores and always marveled at the gorgeous blue tile facades on the buildings. This jewelry is a wonderful way to continue that artwork.


You're AWESOME! Thanks for the comment and feedback. You do make a difference on my blog!

Powered by Blogger.