Made in Spain: A Shopper’s Guide to Artisans and Their Crafts by Region

Princeton Architectural. May 2023. 176p. ISBN 9781797222516. pap. $25.95. TRAV
Communication and architecture/design specialist Wales takes readers throughout the Spanish regions of Valencia, Madrid, the Basque Country, Galicia, and Andalusia for an overview of handicrafts made in those areas. Influenced by North Africa, Andalusia is known for its thick woven rugs and zellij crafts. Blue-and-white patterned ceramic tile is found in Talavera in Catalonia. Brocade and well-crafted fans are prevalent in Valencia. This book’s true focus is on a new generation of artisans who often grew up in the workshops of their older relatives. Some artisans had to reimagine their crafts to stay in business. For example, Xavier Mañosa revitalized his parents’ pottery company by creating pendant lamps. Elena Ferro revamped her parents’ clog-making business by utilizing contemporary colors. Other featured artists are among the few remaining ones; there’s the fan maker of Valencia, the costumer who makes bullfighting costumes in Madrid, and the Basque Country maker of makila, a type of walking stick. This title is a beautiful compendium of Spanish crafters who use wood, leather, natural fibers, and ceramics to make handmade products.
VERDICT Travelers will gain a deeper appreciation for the regional arts of Spain. Perfect for crafters and armchair travelers too.
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