Artisanal Energy

Always attentive to projects born on national soil, here we tell you about four brands that have caught our attention because of their commitment to preserving Portuguese artisanal traditions and manual know-how and combining them with up-to-date modern design.

Interview: Joana Jervell


The need to create furniture for the house they were moving into led Mariana Cerejo and André Inácio to set up the Bzugo studio. Their desire to keep on creating continued beyond the initial challenge, leading them to develop their own brand. And that was how Bzugo was born. Designed and built by the couple, their original and high-quality items range from kitchen trays to furniture and from towel rails to screens. Always valuing the use of local and sustainable resources, they are dedicated to exploring materials and techniques, while at the same time combining their shared taste for decoration, handicrafts and nature.

Rival Design Maker

Passionate about craftwork from an early age, he decided to embrace a new professional adventure and create Rival Design Maker. We are referring to Ricardo Jerónimo, who has seen his dream come true: creating beautiful and functional objects by hand that will withstand the passage of time. Impressing his unique stamp on a wide range of wooden spoons and kitchen utensils — created from scraps collected from carpentry workshops across Lisbon — his pieces leave no-one unmoved. Confirmation of this are the many orders he has on his books, along with his collaborations with chefs in producing items for such restaurants as Fifty Seconds by Martín Berasategui in Lisbon and Euskalduna Studio by Vasco Coelho Santos in Porto, as well as the workshops he has held.

Casa Cubista

Toronto natives Arren Williams and David Pimentel have been established in Olhão for some years and are the brains behind Casa Cubista (the name “cubista” comes from the unusual whitewashed and tiled cubist style of buildings found in the alleys and streets of the old town). Determined to promote Portuguese craftsmanship with a contemporary twist, they are accustomed to travelling to villages all over the country in search of new products and collaboration opportunities. Helping revitalise and enhance old family craftsmanship, particularly in the Algarve, their collections are particularly graphic and colourful. From ceramics to furniture and lighting, there is no shortage of wonderful objects to enrich your home.

Ana + Betânia

From their sculpture studio in Caldas da Rainha, influenced by popular Portuguese ceramics, Ana Cruz and Maria de Betânia dedicate themselves to artistic production that seeks, in conceptual terms, to reflect the female identity in an adult state. From a perspective that takes us back to the permeability of time, which is visible in the inevitable and complex changes that manifest themselves in women throughout their lives, the pair explores this universe through a surreal and amusing language that is also raw and ironic. How? By deconstructing the human body to create powerful visual metaphors capable of appealing to tenderness and delicateness, albeit in a provocative, distorted and playful way.

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