After a period of decline, this artform came back when prominent artists like Mario Miranda influenced its designs.
The Portuguese introduced many things to the Goan culture, however, Azulejo remains as one of the finest contributions to the art and culture of the state. Azulejos are tiles that are native to Goa and they are handpainted by artisans with interlocking geometric motifs, believed to showcase an Arab influence. So read on to know how Azulejos still remain an intricate part of Goa's culture, architecture and home décor.
Ubiquitous designs inspired by local aura
Azulejo is believed to trace its etymological origin in the Arabic word- az-zulayj, which translates to 'polished stone'. These beautiful ceramic pieces add to the unprecedented beauty of the state in their own unique way. After a period of decline, this artform came back when prominent artists like Mario Miranda influenced the tile designs with native culture and included fisherwomen, toddy tappers, kunbi dance, taverns and rural life among others.
A consequence of dedication and passion, Azulejo art is a hidden gem of Goa that narrates tales through its crafted designs. With ubiquitous application across most aspects of life, including religion, this artistic activity has enmeshed itself with the popular culture and decor themes followed in native households.
How are these tiles made?
The dough out of which these tiles are made, is an amalgamation of clay and water, which is then spread on a tray and cut to size. After drying it in a kiln, the baked structure is glazed with powdered glass and when the tile is set and ready, the design is transferred through tracing paper before the colours are finally filled in.
The colours used to paint the designs are made of glass powder and oxides, as this mixture keeps the display vibrant and prevents it from fading with time. Once the painting is completed, the tiles are again introduced in the kiln, which is fired again at 1,050 ºC (approximately), to set the painting.
Azulejo tiles definitely showcase a different side of Goa which is worth the exploration. So next time when you are roaming the streets of the sunshine state, be mindful to spot and photograph these tiles. Also, don't forget to locate the nearest store for valuable purchases, that will add beauty to your home decor!