It is time for a *fair review*!
This one will appeal to every-crafty-one in or visiting Portugal. It is the Crafts & Design market happening the first weekend of every month in Jardim da Estrela*, in Lisbon. The word on the street was that this was not your run of the mill crafts fair… Here’s my take why:
1) The setting is unique for a fair: children playing in the grass, couples lying under the sun, water fountains and a luxurious green background. Don’t trust my amateur pictures! Check out the Lisbon Diary photo gallery, you’ll get it.
2) The people on the stalls are not amateurs – you’ll find exquisite craftsmanship and unique designs. Everywhere you look you’ll find new colors and materials. I managed to strike a conversation with some of those who really caught my eye.
Play Stop Play – These guys were my favorite! I spent a good half an hour taking to Richard about his creations… He uses scraps from wherever he can find – vintage, leftovers, hand-me-downs – and selects the weight and color carefully to make these baskets, by tying knots together… it is hard to explain. They give classes and everything! A girl was spending the Saturday with them, weaving and knotting away in a garden bench. 🙂 Best of all? Their slogan:
Working towards world domination by the very clever use of fabric. Since 2013.
Well guys, consider me on your side. Since 2014.
De Trapo e Sonhos – Mrs. Gertrudes works cork like nobody’s business. Cork is an incredible material by itself, and with a little imagination she designs notebooks, purses and this clever bag, that zips out into a bigger bag:
Mané Sousa – Finally, Mané: She works with ceramic using traditional Portuguese techniques for manufacturing tiles, in not so typical designs. She makes little handcrafted tiles to use as jewelry (including some teeny tiny ones to use as earrings!). I did not resist and bought a beautiful blue ring:
As I was leaving, the scents coming for the last stall at the end of the fair caught up to me. Terra Viva had 101 – scented, handmade and 100% natural – soaps to choose from, and I took home a yummy lemon verbena bar (already took a bite):
All in all, highly recommend – be it for one of a kind items, inspiration or for a walk in the park. If you care for a visit, save the first weekend of every month, except for August and January. The entry is free!
What fairs and markets have you been recently?
*get it? Jardim da Estrela ~= Star of gardens! I am a pun-genius.