i Vila, manager of the factory in the period preceding Art Nouveau, with
his wife and two children.
documentation of the company places its founding on July 12, 1858, when Joan
Terrada and Màrius Gourde became partners in a "brick factory." On July 28,
Bartomeu Asmarats granted a lease on 2450 m² of land, the site that the factory
company did not benefit from the required harmony between members and was
dissolved on February 4, 1861 and closed on February 26, 1862. On February 28,
1863 Joan Terrada and Jaume Gelbert signed an incorporation agreement to
continue producing tiles at the factory, but on August 23 of the same year this
company also was dissolved.
remained inactive until an unknown date between 1870 and 1875, when the Pujol
family began to manage it. Jaume Pujol took over the direction of the factory
in 1874 and two years later became its sole owner. He continued managing it,
with the help of his son Pau, until his death 1892.
The Art Nouveau
Jaume Pujol’s son,
Pau Pujol i Vila, succeeded him and managed the factory
during the high point of Art Nouveau. At that time the factory was called "Hijo
de Jaume Pujol i Bausis" (Son of Jaume Pujol i Bausis), although it was
popularly known as "The Rajoleta" (The Little Tile).
experienced strong growth, obliging it to increase its manufacturing capacity
with new kilns permitting faster and more varied production of tiles.
In 1901, Joan Baptista Alós began to serve as the factory’s artistic director, a
post he held until 1904. During this short period he carried out important work
in the field of design requiring another expansion of the factory.
that have recovered primary sources of the period keep important documentation,
including drawings by
Domènech i Montaner,
and Puig i Cadafalch
that became the basis for the design of many of the factory’s productions. In
the catalogue we still can see many of these drawings, but a better record is in
the many buildings in Catalonia preserving these tiles: the
Institut Pere Mata of Reus,
Martí (Els Quatre Gats),
etc. in Barcelona, the house of Puig i Cadafalch in Argentona and many others.
In the documentation of this period, constant references appear to deliveries of
large quantities of decorative elements expressly mentioned as "modernist"
(Catalan Art Nouveau).
There are also
documents concerning payments to
for works he carried out for the firm.
Montaner and the Castell dels tres dragons:
In 1903, Domènech
i Montaner published an article in La Veu de Catalunya in which, while
praising the work done at the "Castell dels tres dragons" in Barcelona’s
Ciutadella Park for the revival of various arts and methods (such as bronze
foundries and forged iron, ceramics and gilding in the Valencian style, embossed
metals, wall tiles, woodwork and decorative sculpture) that had previously been
done rudimentarily or very poorly ("qu'es feyan allavores rudimentaris o molt
malament" in contemporary Catalan), he mentioned the effort of many craftsmen
and artists, including Jaume Pujol, among other recognized specialists such as
Santigós and Ros.
architects and private customers:
period an impressive list of architects and private individuals bought materials
from the factory. Among the architects were
Domènech i Montaner,
Puig i Cadafalch,
Francesc Sellés, Bonaventura Bassegoda, Josep Font i Gumà, Enric Sagnier, Josep
Azemar, Manel Joaquim Raspall
and Josep Moncunill.
The families Güell, Aymerich, Quadras, Golferichs and others also purchased
tiles from the factory.
activity continued to be important even once modernism had faded, and the
factory continued at a high production rate. In 1914, Francesc Quer i Selvas was
brought on as artistic director, and like Alós before him, carried out important
Production continued to developed, but of goods far removed from the rich
decorative qualities that had characterized the Art Nouveau era. Finally, the
factory went out of business in the 1960s.
after the business closed, many elements that formed part of the factory were
saved. A wealth of documentation, that as mentioned above has aided interesting
studies of the factory’s activities and about ceramics in general, has
facilitated the creation of a considerable body of study and conservation in
Esplugues that is or will be part of institutions like the future Pujol i Bausis
Museum, the Museum of Can Tinturé and the Municipal Archives, to which various
specialists are attached.
The future Pujol i Bausis "La rajoleta" Museum will be a Centre of
ceramics and industrial
archaeology. It will comprise the old grounds of the factory, where various
kilns have been preserved, industrial equipment of the era and other elements
related to the activity of the factory, where temporary exhibits are already
being held. Its museum heritage draws on the series of structures and the most
significant elements of what was once a great centre of production, such as the
clay separators, mill complex, clay corner, steam engine and collection of four
types of kilns: Arab, underground, bottle and glazing.
The Museum of Can Tinturé presents the collection of mass-produced tiles
of Salvador Miquel - more than 3000 tiles of different styles and models from
the 14th to the 19th century – and is the first museum anywhere devoted solely
to this theme. It periodically hosts temporary exhibitions, such as the current
one focusing on Lluís Brú.