Thank you for this artwork and a very happy birthday to you!
What is Azulejo art? I too did not know about this art until I visited Goa a few years ago. While roaming around North Goa, I found most of the houses with creative name plates. When I was back home, I started researching about the name plates which I had seen in Goa and got to know about this particular art and the art form is called Azulejo art, and the roots are from Portugal.
Azulejo is a form of Spanish and Portuguese painted tin-glazed ceramic tile-work. Azulejos are found on the interior and exterior of churches, palaces, ordinary houses, schools, and nowadays, restaurants, bars and even railways or subway stations. They were not only used as an ornamental art form, but also had a specific functional capacity like temperature control in homes. (Taken from wiki)
To know more, refer: http://www.ghrssidc.org/handicrafts/handicrafts-facility/azulejos-tile-painting
I began getting into this art form and about the artists who work on this genre and I could see very few artists in Goa are into this art. Among them, I found Shankar Turi’s art work seemed very impressive and I called and emailed Shankar Turi. Shankar is one of the artist who went to specialize in Azulejo art in Lisbon Portugal in the year 2002. Until then, Azulejo art was extinct in Goa after the Portugal’s left back. Once back, he started his own business with this genre of art.
I spoke to Shankar and I did not get any positive commitment about my request. For a while, I forgot about it and thought will think about it when we go to Goa next time.
One monsoon, we visited Goa and while roaming around Panjim, we saw Marcou Artifacts shop. We shopped for Mario Miranda’s artifacts. And my eyes fell on the Azulejo nameplates, though this style was not the one which I was looking for. On talking to the sales representative there, she said they had their workshop in Corlim Industrial Estate-Old Goa, we can check for the varieties there and custom make the name plate. We went to Corlim, found the Marcou Artifacts workshop, and looked for all the art work they were preparing, spoke to the person who does the Azulejo art, still not convinced. We were disappointed and while heading back, again Shankar Turi came into my mind.
We asked for the route to Bicholim, from old Goa, we took 2 ferry’s and mountainous roads to reach Bicholim. The roads were lonely and in between few villages and it was a memorable drive. We reached Bicholim but how to search for Turi's workshop? Internet was hardly working. I tried searching my phone if I had saved Shankar Turi’s number. Luckily, I had saved and immediately called Shankar. He picked and guided the route to his workshop.
Now this was Shankar Turi. A real artist, the calls, or emails did not matter. When we spoke to him and told about our requirement, he agreed to make our name plate. He said it would take minimum 2 weeks’ time to prepare as lot of artwork and luck is involved in glazing the tiles in the furnace. The painted tiles can crack due to the heat, which will be again redone.
It was commendable, the way he tried to send the courier of the completed name plate. Sending through any of the courier's it was a little risky and he could convince one of his cousins travelling to Pune to hand over the parcel to us.