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What is it?
In the words of two German journalists after a visit to Portugal, referring to the decorations on the sidewalk’s of Lisbon:
"The largest city squares and sidewalks are decorated with stone combinations which look like mosaics, they are spread along all the streets of Lisbon like beautiful carpets where geometric patterns alternate with those of natural inspiration. While sidewalks show repeated patterns, with a precise line, the city squares on the contrary, show closed patterns. On the former we sometimes find simple, individualized panels opposite some shops and cafes, like an advertisement, but they do not show any aesthetic break, as the material used is always the same: dark basalt and white limestone".
On the same subject, a Swiss journalist recently published an article entitled "The stones live under their feet", where she states that:
"The artists of Lisbon streets created the town, bit by bit, in a most original way".
An Austrian diplomat once said when describing one of the main avenues in Lisbon:
"The sidewalks, with their crafty patterns and words inscribed on which we so often walk without paying any attention are beautiful, and characteristic of Portugal".
Already in the 16th century cobblestones were the order of the day as the approved surface of the streets and sidewalks in Lisbon, but it was after the devastating earthquake of 1755 that Lisbon followed the European models of urban development.
The Italian traveler Giuseppe Gorani who was in Portugal from 1765 to 1767, said:
"The paving of streets being undertaken was very good and the city took advantage of the destruction of the old lanes and insalubrious houses because now new streets were being made which were wide, regular, well paved and bordered by sidewalks"; referring to Rua Augusta he also said "it had very good sidewalks of big flat stones, was flat and about 3 miles long". Only the thoroughfares for carts and mules were still paved with small stones.
Along the pavements we find many and varied shapes and designs whose purpose, besides decorative, seem mystically reminiscent of the historical presence of the Portuguese in distant lands or coming from a traditional belief that the building and its inhabitants would be protected from bad luck caused by the Devil.
These aesthetically inspired designs had their roots no doubt in the turbulent consequences of the waters of the Tagus river following the earthquake of 1755 which left the stones and pebbles in the most amazingly decorative and exotic patterns spread out on the banks of the river.
The mosaic pavement system, however, as we know it today in Lisbon, was used for the first time in 1840, on a large surface in the parade ground of the military headquarters, on the main hill of Lisbon. After this first experience, the inventor of this system, Lieutenant-General Eusebio Furtado, a military Engineer and Governor of Castelo de S. Jorge between 1840 and 1846, presented the Town Council with a project for the paving of the main square in Lisbon, Rossio, and got the approval, for the making of the famous waves called "mar largo".
By 1895 when this technique was widespread, the Town Council declared that:
"The Executive commission of Lisbon Town Council decided, a few days ago, to use the Portuguese paving on the sidewalks of the streets from now on".
Still today it can be observed that some wealthy private houses in Lisbon dating from the so-called Pombal period (1750 - 1777) and beyond, have their halls and often their garden border paving decorated with these artistic works.
GOLDWATER PORTUGAL, IMPORT. EXPORT., LDA.
Art at your feet
GOLDWATER PORTUGAL, LDA.an Import/Export company based in Aveiro, northern Portugal, has secured the services of the best remaining craftsman, of this near extinct profession, "the artist pavers", to make these magnificent mosaic pavements for use indoors, such as hotel lobbies, banking foyers, interior sidewalks, to name just a few.
Individual craftsmen make this handwork that, following traditional patterns and in accordance with the original techniques, lay approximately 400 stones per square meter (1.196 square yards). This entails the cutting and setting of each stone by hand, respecting the pattern and the framing in the general context.
This craftsmanship technique prevents the existence of copies and guarantees the clients that the work ordered are original and unique.
The company has developed a technique to package the limestone (white stone) and basalt (black stone) mosaics, into manageable assembled pavement slabs, allowing ease of handling and transportation, to give its exclusive clients the possibility of embellishing their private or public spaces with innovative yet traditional indoor floor decorations.
GOLDWATER PORTUGAL, LDA., has two main objectives:
When ordering, the client supplies the dimensions and the shape of the space to cover with the mosaic paving. GOLDWATER PORTUGAL, LDA., then designs the best way to fill that space taking into account the harmonious flow of the slabs within the pattern chosen and the available space.
This product is normally exported in polished slabs of half square meter each (0.3 square yards), weighing approximately 18 kilograms (40 pounds), 3 centimeters (1.2 inches) thick.
This product can also be supplied in standard american sizes.
Like puzzle pieces, before consignment, each slab is coded, identified and palletized in standard, shrink wrapped, wooden pallets. To facilitate site assembly a mechanical handling device would be required for off loading the slabs on arrival at site.
GOLDWATER PORTUGAL, LDA., will accept designs and patterns that are conceived by the customer inclusive of those for corporate logos, circular atriums and any other appropriate design.
GOLDWATER PORTUGAL, LDA., is also prepared to study and purpose to our customers, several Mosaic Pavement paterns. The only thing the cliente has to do is supplie us drafts or photos of the space to decorate. An example of that can be found in following pictures.
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Manufactured and Marketed by:
GOLDWATER PORTUGAL - IMPORTAÇÃO E EXPORTAÇÃO, LDA.
Rua Sacadura Cabral, Bl B, 206, 2º Dto.
3830 Gafanha da Nazaré - Portugal
Telef.++351.34.366302 Telef./Fax. ++351.34.364117
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