Xistopedia

“A tour of ourselves, that’s what this area gives us”

“A tour of ourselves, that’s what this area gives us”
villages and territory
Between night and day, connecting with physical material and the living organism that is an aldeia do xisto (“schist village” in English), a group of 18 people explored wood, leather and linoleum in another initiative by the Aldeias do Xisto Laboratory.

These three workshops, organised by the Aldeias do Xisto Laboratory, went to the heart of what makes up the village of Janeiro de Cima. Here, our relationship with the land and what it provides is still evident, while the proximity of the Zêzere has brought forth boats and their carpenters since time immemorial, where the origins of linen weaving have also been lost. Nature, water, carpentry, weaving are the most significant of the elements in this village that must be reactivated and taken in new directions, in this case crossing local and craft knowledge with new design frontiers. A group of 18 people from the Regional Development Committee for the Centre, based in Coimbra, had the opportunity to try this experience, under the guidance of local residents as well as teachers and students from the University of Aveiro.


The sun is still warm and the season is bountiful: there is a myriad of autumnal colours in the landscape and the earth breathes out moist aromas that permeate the air. The group is on tenterhooks. For some, to set out for these villages is to revisit memories of childhood in the company of parents and siblings, remembering bare-footed walks picking fruit, the absolutely unforgettable starry skies, May thunderstorms and the gales of autumn.


They have known each other for many years of working together. The routine formality of the office has given way to camaraderie among the group. The three-day programme started smoothly, with a culinary welcome at the Restaurante Fiado, sampling the Menú Espírito do Lugar. This was followed by the exceptional Xisto Sonoro concert, at the “O Passadiço” Bar, in Janeiro de Cima, arranged by Luís Antero, as part of the XJazz- 2019 Jazz Encounters in the Aldeias do Xisto.


After a good night’s rest and a refreshing breakfast at the Casa de Janeiro and the Casa Cova do Barro, Saturday started early at the Casa das Tecedeiras (House of Weavers), to group the participants into the three workshops: wood, leather, lino printing, all taught by professors from Aveiro University.
 


Wood Workshop

Location: Acácio Gaspar Woodwork
Trainers: Profs. João Nunes and Nuno Dias.
Assisted by: Gabriel Loureiro, João Nata.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Leather Workshop

Location: Casa das Tecedeiras (House of Weavers)
Trainer: Prof. José Leite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lino-printing workshop

Location: Casa das Tecedeiras (House of Weavers)
Trainers: Prof. Olinda Martins

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Aldeias do Xisto are a brand-destination that, over the past few years, have managed to establish a unique area as part of the Central Region and Country, based on tourism, experiment and knowledge,. They have done so by always seeking out what is most distinctive and authentic in the landscape and in their communities, attracting investment and opening doors to innovative projects that start with the essence of these places. The relationship with nature, with the land and with the people has been the guiding principle of this activity, which seeks to revitalise the area based on its cultural uniqueness.

Text: Bruno Ramos (with Andreia Gonçalves)

explore

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