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Canary Crafts

Inheritances future of Canarian crafts

Tipycal costumes from Tenerife.

Canarian handicrafts are inheriting the historical material poverty of the Islands, but also of the rusticity and simplicity of the life of the island peasants. These are simple works that by that same nature usually represent very original and attractive finishes and functions.

In traditional Canarian handicrafts, ceramics, embroidery, basketry, wood or cane work, forging, brasswork or volcanic stone that borrow primitive elaborations, and, when not, direct solutions of the work of the pre-Hispanic settlers of the Islands.

With mud, the aborigines made all their rough and smooth household utensils and many of their decorative elements. Of that ancient tradition, they are the vessels of almagre of Gran Canaria or the black ones of La Palma, but also many updated jewelry designs that are key references of the new Canarian crafts.


Timple canario
Timple and timplista.

The craftsmanship of the openwork is born, or rather, it becomes popular, when imitating the thread works that, at the end of the 19th century, the women of Madeira market for British ladies. In the Canary Islands, families saw the opportunity to generate extra income with the same female labor.

Drafts that marketers marketed in all the Islands and that ended up creating genuine designs, such as those of ‘rehilo y flor’, ‘redondillo y flor’, ‘strands’, ‘redondillo majorero’, ‘galletas’, ‘mamagal’ or ‘fines’ ‘. They are traditional embroidery works that can be seen in Ingenio, in Gran Canaria, in La Orotava, in Tenerife, in Hermigua, in La Gomera or in Breña Alta, in La Palma, originally created to decorate tablecloths, women’s clothing, curtains and clothes of bed.

Wooden, a common and close material in the rural environment, were made, and made with the same expertise, dishes, spoons and furniture that once furnished the Canarian houses, but also the musical instruments that gave notes of joy to the meetings to celebrate.

Other less noble materials such as straw, reed or wicker made it possible to create basic tools for storing, for carrying, for carrying by hand or for loading beasts, as is the case with pigs. Although never lacked imagination to turn those simple materials into objects as practical as fans, balayos or rocking chairs.

In recent years, Canarian handicrafts have decidedly crossed the threshold of modernity, guided, no longer by the functional needs of other times and past creative formulas, but by styles, trends and designs. Designed to reach a much wider audience and with the guide of commercial criteria.

Cerámica tradicional canaria
Traditional pottery.

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