Mexican Tile Roofs By Hand

South of the seaside town of Zihuatanejo in the gorgeous mountainous state of Guerrero, just off coastal Highway 200, where the earth yields just the right type of clay to make fine quality clay bricks and roof tiles, you’ll find a master clay tile crafts family who have been making clay bricks and roof tiles by hand for generations.

The craftsman wets the clay & sand mixture. Then spreads it out perfectly removing any rocks that could cause imperfect tiles. After filling the tile frame, he dips a flat, perfectly straight edge into water and then runs it over the clay filed frame to create a completely smooth surface and remove any excess clay mixture. Then he removes the frame from the tile piece and slips the curved form that will create the classic Mexican roof tile shape under the unfired tile piece. Being exceedingly careful so as not to cause the curve to flatten, he removes the curved form and leaves the shaped piece to dry a bit in preparation for firing. After the formed pieces have dried in the sun for a few minutes, they are placed in a kiln and fired to a very high strength.

Construction Technique for a Classic Mexican Tile Roof
The technique used to used to construct those beautiful tile roofs
The base layer of tiles are turned with the curved side down, spaced properly side by side, and then layered. No cement or adhesive is used to hold them to the roof, the weight alone does it. Then tiles are placed, curved side up, over the seam/joint created by the space between the base tiles, until the entire roof is constructed with all seams covered.

The precious little boy in the last photo is the son of the tile maker. He stole our hearts with no trouble at all :)