On the trail of tradition
A guest contribution by Claudia Strobel
Three years ago we traveled Claudia Strobel and Achim Haigis, through Portugal, with the aim of visiting friends. Enthusiastic about the rich traditional craftsmanship and its natural materials, the idea was born to delve deeper into the world of Portuguese craftsmanship.
Instead of lying under the umbrella on the beach, we went in search of products with history and exceptional craftsmanship. Sometimes we asked in the villages on the streets or in small bars where the object of desire - the workshop of a ceramist or a basket weaver is hiding. So we came into direct contact with the people and got one or the other hot tip. The journey had begun...
The stuff dreams are made of
Our first stop led us to Abel and José Luis. They use their hands as tools for an ancient craft they learned from their father as children, basket weaving.
Willow is the stuff dreams are made of. The raw material grows right behind the brothers' house.
In her studio, small and large baskets, stools and chairs and even lamps are woven. Their repertoire is constantly evolving and adapting to the spirit of the times - the production remains traditional, just as we love it.
When you watch a potter at the wheel, it looks so easy and casual that you want to do a few laps yourself. But you quickly realize that it is quite a complex matter.
Nelia's workshop is very busy. Potters and ceramic painters have their hands full. The tone they use comes straight out Portugal and has a beautiful warm terracotta color. The jugs, mugs and bowls they make are hand painted. The shapes are simple, the colors of the glazes and patterns refreshing and modern.
From remnants of the fashion industry
The spools of thread are piled up to the ceiling in a wild color palette. If a color is used up, Conceição takes a similar one or starts with a new color combination. The carpets and rugs are all one-offs, which she weaves on her simple, almost primitive loom. The yarn she uses is leftovers from the fashion industry, mostly cotton. The design is created during weaving, she conjures up stripes or knots - depending on her mood.
Conceição also learned the trade from her mother. At first she didn't like it very much. As fate would have it, she had to start weaving about 20 years ago to get enough bread on the table. Today she lives from her craftsmanship and has her own small studio.
So that lovers of Portuguese handicrafts can also enjoy our finds in this country, we sell them on small markets in Berlin under the label "harry & claude".
OR VISIT US on Instagram harry & claude