For the second in our series promoting local crafters and artisans, Julian Putley visited the Craft Fair at the Galaxia boat show. 

WORDS Julian Putley

A special section of the show was earmarked for some of the best artisans in the region. Liza of the Glasshousealgarve was contacted by Galaxia to arrange the event. Her table of beautiful stained-glass pieces was eye-catching; the colours were just so vivid. “I create art from glass from so many ideas and images that catch my attention. I love colour and stained glass is the perfect way for me to add it to my designs.”

One unique table that caught my eye was labelled ‘Upcycling Glass’. The artists, Elena and Oli, create lights from disused bottles. They also create a mini planter with a wick from a water-filled bottom section that provides moisture to the upper section, which is filled with soil and your favourite plant, flower or herb. A clever idea and a great way to recycle.

Glass Creations by Quinta da Paz
Psanky Eggs

The Ukrainian decorated egg known as pysanky is a truly spectacular art form and very appropriate right now. This very intricate style is similar to the Indonesian Batik art form, where wax is used in a layering technique. Helen Chance, a talented pysanky artist, explained, “I use many types of eggs; chicken, goose, duck and even ostrich. We use wax and dyes and make the initial pattern with a very fine hollow stylus filled with hot wax. When it’s dry, the dye is applied and after that, the process begins again. After repeating this process many times, finally, all the wax is finally removed and the desired result is achieved.” 

There are many folkloric tales describing the origin of the pysanky egg tradition and this year. It has taken on new urgency and meaning in Ukraine. Now, experts and newcomers are sharing this art to raise money and give assistance to the Ukrainian people.

Marlie’s table attracted a lot of interest with her small porcelain plates of many designs, complete with a grater in the middle. The items are useful and decorative, with garlic, ginger, nutmeg and orange zest being some of the many culinary flavours that can be ground in this unique concept.

Marlie
Cabaças do Amor

Wavi Art was well represented by Vilma Vicente, whose multi-coloured epoxy creations were admired by many. Of particular interest were her domino sets, each designed with a miniature seashell. Her table was shared by Kate Proffitt, whose Tree of Life caught my attention. Constructed from an old bike wheel, the tree was cleverly formed with twisted wire on a black background emanating magical vibrations.

Being relatively new to Portugal I always thought that cabaça meant head but no, apparently it means gourd, whilst head has a slightly different spelling, cabeça. It became clear when I visited the stall of Sara Baronete. Her display, Cabaças do Amor, was an eye-catching array of colourful gourds with an assortment of designs, some with the ability to insert lights for special effects.

Many, many more exhibits were on display – all fascinating and creative but too numerous to include in this small write-up. 

Stained Glass: www.glasshousealgarve.com 

Pysanky Eggs: Facebook: George and Mildred Decorated Eggs

Wavi Art www.waviart.com 

Facebook: Cabacas do Amor