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News.The Socarrat of Diablo3-ESP

It must be awesome to have an artist in the family, and Miguel, admin of official fansite Diablo3-esp.com since 2006, is lucky enough to have one at home. His mother’s hobby is to craft socarrats – a form of traditional medieval art consisting of fired clay tiles painted in red and black.

She was persuaded to craft a socarrat in the image of her son’s favorite archangel, Tyrael. Miguel has been a fan of Diablo since 2000, and even though his mom isn’t into videogames herself, she accepted the challenge quite happily.
Q. What does “socarrat” mean?

Socarrat is the Valencian word for “burned” or “scorched”. It comes from the way a socarrat is cooked, since the clay tile is actually burned where the image has been drawn.

Q. What can you tell us about the history behind socarrat art?

Socarrats originated on the eastern coast of the Iberian Peninsula during the Middle Ages, mainly in Valencia. They were generally placed between the wooden beams of old houses, sometimes in stairways, or even on the exteriors of buildings for decoration. They usually depict religious, magic, and social figures.
Q. How are socarrats made?

The tile is covered in quicklime dust, over which the artist draws the picture using red and black tones before the tile is fired. This gives the socarrats a very distinct appearance.

Q: Where did your mother learn how to make them?

She has been making socarrats for years in the cultural center of our town in Spain. We have plenty of socarrats all over the walls of our house.
Q. What materials did you mother use for your Tyrael socarrat?

You just need a clay tile, the typical size of which is 30x15cm or 40x30cm. As I mentioned before, there are only two colors available to paint on the tile. The red color is made with ocher and the black color is a mixture of manganese and black carbon.


Q. What was the process of creating it?

The drawing must first be sketched. A semitransparent paper is used for that, and the paper is then perforated along the outline of the drawing. Then the black color is sprinkled over the punctured paper onto the tile. The black dust will indicate the outline of the drawing on the tile, making it easier to start painting the actual picture. The red and black colors are mixed with a bit of water and the artist paints over the outline with a small paintbrush. This usually takes a few hours, but not much longer. The socarrat then needs around eight hours in the oven before one layer of Bitumen of Judea is applied to darken the image.

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

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