1Please give us a brief bio of yourself and your design background.
I am a self-taught master artisan with 32 years worth of experience.
2What made you become/why did you choose to become a designer/artist?
Crafts found me when I was studying Electrical Engineering in Coimbra.
3Tell us more about your business/company, job profile, and what you do.
I adapt the patterns from the Roman mosaics of Conimbriga to handcraft Arraiolos stitch framed handmade embroidery.
4Tell us about your design process.
Firstly, through “on site” observation I selected the mosaics and made a chromatic study with the purpose to reproduce as faithful as possible the real colors of the mosaics.
Secondly, based on photos and posters of the chosen mosaics- I made the master patterns of which one making possible to be worked in Arraiolos stitch.
Finally, I handcraft them, executing, the embroidery with the delicate task of reproducing stitch working resembling as faithful the tesserae of the original mosaics.
5Do you think your country and its cultural heritage has an impact on your design process?
Certainly! I work with the Roman mosaics of Conimbriga and the Arraiolos stitch, both integral parts of our rich cultural heritage.
6Congratulations! As the winner of the 2023 MUSE Design Awards, what does it mean to you and your company and team to receive this award distinction?
This represents the global acknowledgment of the exceptional quality demonstrated in my 32 years of dedicated work.
7Can you explain a bit about the winning work you entered into the 2023 MUSE Design Awards, and why you chose to enter this project?
The work is called CAOS – Chaos. There are no symmetrical axes in the body. It looks like the pieces were thrown out blindly. I chose it because it was different from the rest of my pieces.
8What was the biggest challenge with this project?
To construct the master pattern directly from my imagination, without the use of computers.
9How has winning an Award developed your practice/career?
It's still early in my career, but this additional award is yet another valuable accolade to add to my growing curriculum vitae, marking another milestone in my professional journey.
10What are your top three (3) favorite things about our industry?
I specialize in the handcraft industry, where my passion lies in the unique blend of traditional and contemporary techniques. Working independently, I skillfully combine mosaic patterns from the 2nd century with the Arraiolos Stitch from the 4th century to create innovative 21st-century products. This distinctive approach sets me apart as a one-of-a-kind artisan in my field.
11What makes your country specifically, unique in the design industry?
In Portugal, the art of handcraft is not only thriving but also evolving. It encompasses not just the traditional rural and religious aspects, but also innovative forms of craftsmanship, such as the unique style I practice. This blend of old and new keeps the handcraft tradition vibrant and relevant in our culture.
12If you were a student entering this industry or an aspiring MUSE Design Awards submitter, what advice would you give them?
Let the MUSEs inspire you!
13What is your key to success? Any parting words of wisdom?
Never stop trying!
14Do you have anything else you would like to add to the interview?
Thank you for existing - for supporting and showing our work!