The use of glazed, painted tiles called “Azulejos”, can be seen across old churches and homes in Goa. Azulejos was introduced in Portugal through Arab influence in the 8th century and the word ‘Azulejos’ is derived from Arabic meaning both smooth and blue. These tiles were introduced in Goa during Portugese times and the production of these painted tiles continue today using both traditional and modern techniques.
Blue and yellow were the favored color combinations for the tiles which depicted mainly floral patterns and religious scenes though now all colours and several new themes are painted.
White tiles are painted in differing color shades and fired in an oven to fuse the color pigments permanently with the tile. Such tiles are used to decorate the entrance walls. The old tiles can be seen at the Menezes Braganza hall in Panjim painted by Jorge Colaco, in the Old Goa church in Chinchinim in South Goa and in the several other places.
The process followed is that the clay tile base is first prepared, it is then fired at 1200o centigrade temperature. It is then glazed and painted on with ceramic colors and fired again at 1200oc to fuse the color pigments with the tile.