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Algarve launches designer ‘regional’ souvenirs

A line of 20 products will be launched which have been developed through a partnership between two designers and 11 artisans from the Algarve who work with traditional materials such as clay, wood, cork, linen and wicker, among others.

Alice Pisco, from the regional development commission (CCDR), who is promoting the project told Lusa News Agency that the idea behind the project is to recreate existing products with a new image or create new products from scratch but with traditional techniques.

From this alliance, a range of products have been created, such as wicker shopping bags in strong colours, pieces of jewellery made from seeds and dried fruit and tea cups and light fittings made from regional materials.

The new line of products were presented on Monday at the Hotel and Tourism School of the Algarve in Faro, which was followed by a debate about the future of arts and crafts in the region.

Ana Silva, from São Bartolomeu de Messines is one of the artists taking part in the initiative, who is responsible for rediscovering the ‘shepherd’s lighter’, which with the help of designers Álbio Nascimento and Kathi Stertzig has gained a contemporary look.

In the village where she lived with her parents, was a man who made these lighters, inspired by the pre-historic techniques that led to the discovery of fire. A few years ago, Ana was also inspired to try and recreate the lighters with a few innovations.

Within a wooden frame, a flint was introduced while the piece of stone used to make a spark has been replaced by a glass lens, and the third variable; a seed that gets so hot it starts a fire.

Ana hopes that the project will make the products commercially viable, which is also part of the TASA project, and through which at least seven artists have been supported in terms of consultancy and communication.

“Companies or institutions could offer these traditional products instead of the usual gadgets like key rings or pens,” said Álbio Nascimento, from the Luso-German company ‘The Home Project” who developed the scheme.

Once finished in August, the project could be prolonged with the creation of an online shop or a physical space where the products could be sold, but this is an idea that is still being discussed.


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Lei nº. 144/2015, de 8 de Setembro

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