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Asturias.es Topics Craftwork and commerce Craftsmanship Traditional Handicrafts from Asturias
 

Craftsmanship

Traditional Handicrafts from Asturias

Tradition and innovation for world-famous and renowned products

Asturias is a region rich in traditions, but it bets on innovation as a driving force in the development of handicrafts.

Asturian handicrafts are being rediscovered because they use traditional techniques and raw materials so they contribute to establish the rural population, their centenary traditions and their cultural heritage. They also demand low energy consumption, they do not damage the environment, and they complement other agricultural, fishing or tourist activities. Traditional handicrafts promote creativity and generate a high added-value that allows them to be a profitable business.

Traditional studios coexist with a new trade strategy based on innovation, reuse of raw materials, which have been the basis of their products for years, and the incorporation of design techniques and other raw materials to obtain new shapes.

 

Pottery

Asturias is a region with a deep-rooted pottery tradition. The first establishment of crockery factories and artisan workshops date from the 18th century. Faro, in Limanes (Oviedo) and Llamas de Mouro (Cangas del Narcea) are the main settlements of potters in Asturias, so they are famous for the manufacture of pots, pans and, above all, black pottery.

 

Wood

Wood is the main raw material for the manufacture of Asturian handicrafts due to the abundance of forests of chestnut, oak, beech, etc., and the quality of their timber. The wood was used by the traditional society for the building of dwellings, hórreos (traditional Asturian granaries), and the manufacture of domestic objects, such as tankards, lunch boxes, bowls, and madreñas (traditional Asturian clogs). There is a long tradition of wood artisans in Asturias, including manufacturers of madreñas, baskets, wicker products and bowls.

 

Metal

Forges are places where the iron ore or grey cooper ore are forged. They had a great importance in the 18th century. The abundance of minerals and water to give power to the blow-up machines that stoked up the fire were very popular in the west of Asturias. Somiedo is one of the Asturian city councils with the higher number of iron deposits, large rivers and big forest, Taramundi is famous for its knives and pocket knives, and Miranda is a place where almost all families were boilermakers.

 

Black Jet

Black jet is a coal which was fossilized 70 million years ago and turned into black lignite coal. It is an ideal raw material for patient and handy artisans. Asturias is the birthplace of the jet trade since Asturian citizens started to sell it to Galician farmers in the 18th century. The only mine of jet black in Spain is found in the rural parish of Oles, in Villaviciosa.

 

Leather

The 18th century was a period of growth for Asturian crafts, and new leather factories were opened in Oviedo, Tineo and Gijón. Production of leather products was really high in that period due to the shoemakers’ guild that reached fame in Noreña and Pimiango.

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