Hirondelles murales en céramique

How to use ceramic swallows for decoration?

It is no exaggeration to say that the swallow (Andorinha) is one of the most famous Portuguese symbols. Symbol of love and loyalty, but also of home and family, the swallow represents feelings well-rooted in Portuguese culture.

Bordallo Pinheiro
These little birds have long been the favourite subjects of paintings, sculptures, texts and music in Portugal. But it was probably Bordallo Pinheiro, at the end of the 19th century, who introduced the ceramic swallows into the Portuguese popular imagination.
The swallow is now an icon of national folklore and a decorative element present in all Portuguese homes.
With the current enthusiasm for Portugal, ecological trends, and the urge to return to nature, swallows become a trendy decorative object that great designers or decorators take back.
Hotels, public spaces, facades, living rooms, bedrooms... There is no place that cannot be enchanted by a flight of ceramic swallows.

Bordallo Pinheiro ceramic swallows
 
How to choose among the different styles of swallows?
Traditionally, Portuguese swallows are made of ceramics, but there are also clay models and attempts to make them out of metal.
The forms remain quite free, depending on the interpretation of each individual. There are representations that seek the most faithful reproduction possible but also very stylized representations.
The traditional colour of the clay swallow is black, but cobalt blue and white are also widely used. The different shades exist in all colours, from sky blue or pink, particularly used in children's rooms, to water green, yellow or red, which can be adapted to less common environments.
Portuguese ceramic swallows
 
How to arrange ceramic swallows on the wall?
Swallows are birds that live in pairs throughout their lives, they are also migratory birds that gather when traveling. It is, therefore, preferable to reproduce this behaviour on a wall and not to fix a single swallow, which would be a little incongruous.
For a striking decorative effect, it is better to use several swallows of different sizes and to place them on the wall as if it were a flight of birds.
 
How to fix ceramic swallows to the wall?
Ceramic swallows usually have a ventral hole that can be used to attach them to the wall with a screw, hook or piton.
If you simply attach a screw to your wall and place your swallow on it, you will be unable to display it as you wish and it will not reproduce a flight.
 
The best method is as follows:
  1. Drill a hole in your wall and attach L-shaped pitons or hooks that will be completely covered by the swallow's belly.
  2. Filling the swallows with plaster that you can buy in tubes or cartridges is more convenient.
  3. Position the swallows on the hooks and orientate them in the desired direction and then temporarily hold them with adhesive tape.
  4. After 24/48H, remove the adhesive tape, the swallow is firmly attached.

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