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Novos caminhos para a empreita de palma

By; Gonçalo Jeremias MDP

“Empreita de palma” is a traditional basket weaving craft that makes use of the palm, the foliage of the dwarf palm tree, the only native palm tree of the Algarve region.
Using ancestral techniques, this raw material is transformed into objects and products used in daily life. As a productive art it offers unique advantages, namely economic, educational, ecological and social.
The project is based on learning the constructive techniques of this craft, addressing its current problems and developing alternative paths, seeking to create new typologies based on small-scale, in-house manufacturing. This line of research seeks the study and differentiation of the application of fibre to obtain products for everyday use, designed for longevity and easy disassembly and repair.
New solutions for dyeing the fibres have also been tested, namely cuttlefish or cochineal dyeing, as well as the protection of wooden structures with beeswax and linseed oil.
The project also seeks to record and transmite knowledge by making explicit the tacit knowledge of the craftsmen, through annotations and products, and sharing it through training workshops.