The White Glazes project will study the beginnings of the Portuguese production of tin-glazed ceramics through a multidisciplinary approach and under an international context. It will tell the story of an important chapter of the history of Portuguese ceramics through its production techniques by analysing, comparing and reproducing the technology behind newly-discovered archaeological assemblages, and museum and private collections. These include decorated and undecorated faience, comprising both decorative and utilitarian objects, and azulejos. We want to better understand the establishment and evolution of the faience technology in Portugal as a whole, instead of looking at it from two separate points of view (tiles and decorative faience), as has happened until now.

 The project focuses on two main questions:

  1. Which technological features characterise the Portuguese-made faience pottery and its evolution between the 16th and first half of the 17th centuries?
  2. How was the production of faience related to the production of azulejos?

To determine whether azulejo and faience productions used the same glaze recipes and pigments, the results obtained will be analysed in conjunction with the results from the FCT-financed project “Azulejo Research for the candidacy to UNESCO World Heritage” (PTDC/EPH-PAT/5096/2014).