One of the undeniable advantages of being a photographer is the ability to discover new places and meet interesting people. Recently I have been contacted by a client, who has invited me for quite an adventurous project. The client is a brand new hotel in Porto (I can’t reveal the name just yet) and they challenged me to travel across Portugal and shoot in 5 different factories, each specialized in original handmade crafts.
Our travel itinerary was as follows:
- Aveiro – azulejo tiles factory
- Costa Nova – kitchenware factory
- Estremoz – marble quarries
- Paços de Ferreira – furniture factory
- Leça de Palmeira – enamel plates
The opportunity in front of me was truly a unique one. The upcoming hotel will be featuring all sorts of traditional artisans work from all over the country, thus they wanted to register the “making-of” of the decoration items.
Each factory we visited was a testimony to passion, hard work and dedication to preserve traditional Portuguese craftsmanship. From a tiny garage-like Azulejo factory, to enormous warehouses in Costa Nova, we had a chance to witness the entire production process, from raw material to the finished product.
As you will see from the images, some places were more modernized, and some still look the way things were decades ago. But this factor does not affect the quality and attention to detail from people who work there, day in and day out shaping the unique handmade pieces. And when you ask the workers about their craft, they can go on for hours passionately explaining all the techniques that were passed from generations to generations for centuries.
The gallery below will give you a unique look into behind-the-curtains of daily life of artisans who are responsible for creating those very attributes without which one would not image a country called Portugal.