Cuba – Grilles

Traditionally houses in Trinidad are high single storey in long terraces running between the cross streets . They have grilles, rejas de la ventana over their tall windows and wooden shutters, contraventa inside. Historically these grilles were made of wood, madera, in simple rod-like designs or for the Spanish sugar barons, ornate turned verticals and carved top and bottom boards. Grilles were also made from wrought iron, hierro forjado where the iron-workers were adept at making wonderfully decorative swirls and details, latterly grilles might be made with simple rebars (reinforcement bars) barras de armadura, efficient but not as attractive.

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Just an old grille photographed from within a moving coach but it sums up for me all the things I like about grilles, the rusting iron, the crumbling walls, the late afternoon shadows and the traces of light blue paint over the original brown paint on the wooden shutters.
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Walls the colour of really ripe lemon rinds, doors the colour of old schools utility brown.
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A modern grille, what flights of fancy here as well as a fine example of drawn thread-work in the curtain too.
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Sunray arch above and peppermint toothpaste coloured walls.
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A modesty screen made from wooden louvres with a flourish of carving to decorate the top.
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The owners spent their extra cash on an air con unit instead of new shutters!
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It seems that some time ago the owners decided not to repaint the shutters light blue to match the plastered walls  but I love the faded paint.
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So ften as we drove past a doorway, we would see a figure held behind their rusting grilles, just once in a while a hastily taken image would be in focus. Here the colours of the woman’s  flower strewn top shone out like a beacon against the unusually pink-painted grille..
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Again photographed from a moving coach, I just missed the whole of the painter’s body and the grille but the modern design and bright red paint are good even if not wholly visible.

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