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. A symbol of love and loyalty, but also of home and family, the swallow represents feelings that are well rooted in Portuguese culture.
These small birds have long been the favorite 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 swallows in ceramics into the Portuguese popular imagination.
The swallow is today an icon of national folklore and a decorative element present in all Portuguese homes. With the return of Portugal, the ecological trends, the desire to return to nature, swallows are becoming a fashionable decorative object and great designers or decorators are taking them over.
Hotels, public places, facades, living rooms, bedrooms... There is no place that cannot be enchanted by a flight of ceramic swallows.
How to choose among the different designs of swallows?
Traditionally, Portuguese swallows are made of ceramic, but there are also models in terracotta as well as attempts to make them in metal.
The forms remain quite free, depending on the interpretation of each person. There are representations that seek the most faithful reproduction possible, but also very stylized representations.
Traditional ceramic swallow with 3 colors
Traditional ceramic swallow in color
Stylized ceramic swallow
Ceramic swallow in origami style
The traditional color of the swallow in earthenware is black, but cobalt blue and white swallows are also widely used.
The variations exist in all colors, from sky blue or pink particularly used in children's rooms, to green water, yellow or red that adapt to less common environments.
There are also more modern swallows in gold or silver, white or black matte colors that will fit contemporary interiors.
Gold or silver ceramic swallow
White or black matte ceramic swallow
Black matte ceramic swallow - Luisa Paixão collection
How to place the ceramic swallows on the wall?
Swallows are birds that live in pairs throughout their lives, they are also migratory birds that gather to travel.
It is thus preferable to reproduce this behavior on a wall and not to fix only one swallow which would be a little incongruous. On a wall, above a piece of furniture, 2 swallows can already create a very nice effect.
Creation of a decoration of 2 swallows
Creation of a decoration of several swallows
For a striking decorative effect, it is possible to use several swallows of different sizes and arrange them on the wall representing a flight. It is best to mark each location with repositionable paper before creating the final flight of swallows.
Creation of a spectacular decor
With the help of several dozen swallows, it is possible to create a really spectacular decor that will make a public place very attractive.
Pousada de Cascais Portugal - Credit Citadela
How to fix the ceramic swallows on the wall?
Ceramic swallows usually have a ventral hole that can be used to attach them to the wall with a screw, hook or peg.
If you simply fix a screw in your wall and place your swallow on it, you will not be able to orient it as you wish and you will not be able to reproduce a flight.
It is possible to attach cork tips to the wall and then place the swallows on them, but variations in temperature and humidity can cause the cork to shrink, which will then release the swallow.
The best method is then the following:
- Drill holes in your wall and attach L-shaped pegs or hooks that will be completely covered by the swallow's belly.
- Fill the swallows with plaster that you can buy in tubes or cartridges, it's more practical.
- Position the swallows on the hooks and orient them in the desired direction and hold them temporarily with adhesive tape.
- After 24/48 hours, remove the tape, the swallow is firmly attached.