We understand the strong and active links that Catalonia maintains with its past, its culture, its materials and savoir-faire. We know its architecture, its design, its cinema, its landscapes and its houses. We love the sense of space, its relationship with nature, its autonomous ideal, its taste for secrecy, a certain simplicity that is not simple.
Current news raises questions of scale that interest us. How will local and global be articulated in the future?
The Baix Empordà. A rich, rural, smiling and rolling countryside. They call it “little Tuscany”. Firstly, we work on one subject alone: The ceramics of Bisbal. For 500 years the town has been famous for its red soil. The large brick chimneys no longer smoke but production continues. For better or worse, it is up to us to sniff out the quality items from in and behind the stalls.
From Palafrugell to Solsona, from Banyoles to Arenys de Mar, from Barcelona to Tortella: we head off in all directions, covering a large part of the region.
Basalt, cotton paper, hardened steel, carved boxwood, baked clay, woven wicker, raw cork and woven wool. Masiaen stone, vineyards, the lanes of a mountain village and the brave coast. Family business, cooking recipes, children, grandparents, honour, upheavals, economic crisis, calçots grilled over a wood fire and the soft winter sun. The balance is beautiful, between tradition and modernity, wealth and poverty, nature and culture, hedonism and productivity.
On the French side, we are captivated by the Albères. A border at altitude, with its hiding places and underground paths. In the distance the mountain plunges into the sea. Trees and stones. The landscape is cut into terraces that testify to a more inhabited time. The poems of a shepherd. The breath of a horse. A house as a work of art. Three generations in a cayrou factory. The best cork in Europe, harvested by a hand that knows how not to harm a tree.
C’est la vie.
* For a day, the Catalan photographer Lluís Tudela shared our meetings, our work and our journeys. We wanted to see through his eyes, on film. We will publish a selection of his photos here at LMDC
Notes for later :
– the line between craft and torture
– He makes objects for his children to see
– « amb temps »
– « votem per ser lliures »
– « poc a poc »
– to have peace
– « never give up »
– it has to be worth it
– « The goat grazes where it is tied up »
– Montserrat was a woman, the loved inventor of Blauet de Monsterrat (blue pigment).
– “The blades of the marines knives were cut in order to avoid killings during alcohol driven fights”
– he would have liked to give up everything to live in Argentina, but he chose to stay to honour his heritage.
– Balance rather than growth
– « When I awoke one beautiful morning / I heard the harmonious singing / of a bird perched / on the roof of my cottage » (Manel, L’Hirondelle de Saint-Martin, 1896)
– « When it comes to eating, drinking and smoking, we are happy here » (Manel, pierre gravée, 19ème siècle)
– save some work for tomorrow
– Sofregit de ceba Quim Matas cooked for 10 hours
– return to Escola de Ceramica de La Bisbal
– A family business
– taste more wines from Priorat
– hyper lieu
Jean Lloveras, Lluís Tudela, Tat Ferrer & Quim Matas, Nathalie Roques Rogery, Beatriz Garrigo, Patrick Loste,
Ro Ros Gotor, Alberto Aguirre, Georgina Regàs, Quino Ros, Violeta & Sylvestre Hovart, Júlia Balcells Roca
Manufacturers : AQUARI PAPER – SASTRES PAPERERS BEATRIZ GARRIGO Pallarès PEDRERA ORTIZ