2023 Made in Spain Holiday Gift Guide
Purposely pared back, this year’s holiday gift guide showcases Spain’s rich and varied ceramic, textile, glassmaking, and woodworking artisanal traditions.
Located in Madrid, Plaart studio makes unique handcrafted contemporary ceramics. Founder Isabel San Martín is a graduate in fine arts and received specialized training in ceramic arts from the School of Art Francisco Alcántara and the Moncloa School of Ceramics. Her work has appeared in Architectural Digest Spain, Elle Decor España, and El País, among other media.
The Steen Tavern Collection is designed exclusively for Madrid’s Thyssen-Bornemisza National Museum for the exhibition “The Hidden”. Inspired by the work of Dutch artist Jan Havicks Steen’s “Tavern Scene” (1661-1665), it proposes a reinterpretation of everyday ceramic forms of the Dutch Baroque. Each piece in the collection is entirely handmade in the studio’s Madrid workshop following artisanal processes.
Each piece is unique. Stoneware ceramic, with a partial glaze finish, they are available in green, white, lime, and black. The pieces are available at the Thyssen museum shop online or at the physical store.
Photos by Ana Gómez of Quosen Photo.
Plaart is a member of SACo, the association of contemporary artisans in Spain whose mission is to showcase creations by artisans and designers from Spain who work in various disciplines. Learn more about this organization in SACo: Showcasing Contemporary Spanish Artisanship.
Founded by Silvia Delgado de Torres and Teresa Muñoz-Rojas in 2018, ILOEMA is an artisanal studio whose mission is to preserve the rich cultural legacy of Spanish textile tradition by fostering creative dialogues between traditional artisans and contemporary artists. The studio’s ethos is “Beautiful objects with a simple goal: to put the connection between heart and hand before the transient and commercial.” Ilomena collaborates with different artists to create unique handcrafted pieces.
The pieces in the two collections featured in this guide are made of 100% linen and are hand-embroidered in Spain.
Part of the Artist’s Edition, the Triangulos collection by artist Antonio Ballester Moreno comprises a tablecloth and eight napkins. They are embroidered using the traditional satin stitch and “deshilado” techniques. The textile combines the drawing of triangles by Antonio Ballester Moreno, with different embroideries by the women of the Spanish province of Toledo. The collection is available on a white or beige background with embroidery in mustard or cobalt blue. This limited-edition collection is available upon request and the tablecloth is available in a standard size (270 x 180 cm) or custom sizes upon request. Each piece is numbered and signed by the embroiderer.
Artist Antonio Ballester Moreno’s (Madrid, 1977) focuses on paintings. They depict iconographies closely linked to the every day, primarily nature. Images are scarce and essential: the sun, rain, trees, plants, mountains, moons treated by truly austere means. In constant exploration of materials and techniques, Ballester Moreno defends the artisanal, the creative manifestations considered as minor or amateur art, which he raises to the same level as so-called cultured art. For this collection, he worked with master embroiderers from Lagartera, Herreruela, and Torrico, towns in Toledo province known for colorful and complex embroideries adorning textiles.
Hojas de Parra (Grape Leaves)
The Hojas de Parra (Grape Leaves) tablecloth and napkin set is part of the New Classics Edition that explores the rich and varied legacy of ancient techniques and designs and identifies those still relevant in today’s visual lexicon. “Our tribute to the honest, unique and handmade textile pieces that elevate our day to day.”
The unraveling technique is used for the embroidery. This technique consists of openwork, drawing threads on which to embroider. Made and embroidered in Lagartera, the set comprises a tablecloth and six or eight napkins. The tablecloth is available in standard sizes (220 x 170 cm (table of 6) / 280 x 180cm (table of 8)) or custom sizes upon request.
Photos courtesy of Ilomena.
This box is made by a cooperative of artisans who produce pieces designed and made in Estudio Sangiovanni in Galicia, Spain, marketed as Lorenzo Design. Sangiovanni and Lorenzo are the surnames of the company’s predecessors, who founded the studio as a woodcraft workshop. From its humble beginning experimenting with the design and production of spoons for a Michelin-starred restaurant in Santiago de Compostela, Galicia, the studio now works with some of the most renowned chefs to design pieces and tableware for restaurants, including several that appear in the Michelin and Repsol guides. The studio’s physical store in Santiago de Compostela serves public and commercial clients.
The box is made from walnut wood, and the inlays from ash wood. It has six compartments and a folding lid. Use it to store jewelry, sweets, chocolates, or whatever one desires.
Photos courtesy of Lorenzo Design
Real Fábrica de Cristales de La Granja
The origins of Real Fábrica de Cristales de La Granja date back to the 18th century as a royal manufactory. Artisans manufacture pieces in the workshops in Segovia, Spain, using the same manufacturing artisan traditions and techniques from this era (lead glass (crystal), moulds, traditional blowpipe techniques).
This beautiful piece is part of the Classics collection. The form is striking: a pear-shaped body tapering to a point, a long narrow cylindrical neck, a lip with a flared rim, flat upper section, baluster stem with central knot, and a circular foot.
Puntiles Engraved Pitcher Set
This set includes a hand engraved pitcher and glass that are in a contemporary style.
Photos courtesy of Real Fábrica de Cristales de La Granja.
Eva Castaño began her studies in ceramics in 1982 at the Escuela de Cerámica de Madrid, where she studied for five years. She has worked with and taught ceramics for the last years. She works from her studio in San Lorenzo de El Escorial, a town in the Guadarrama mountains of central Spain.
She states, “My inspiration for this new series has been shapes, outlines and the effect of light on them. The shapes that rise, float, hold and draw themselves out in space…”
In the words of Sylvie Fiachetti, the owner of Tado, “When I first saw Eva´s ceramics, I didn’t really know what I was looking at. Was it a painting, a sculpture, a soft or a rough draft? Each of her pieces has a natural movement that reflects a personality and a lively presence (I mean, it is really alive). So don’t be surprised if they show you new curves, colors and textures, as they generously invite you to use them. They are deeply attractive, clever objects made by a ceramist who listens and takes the right amount of time to create each and every one.”
Learn more about Tado at Tado: The Little Shop of Ceramics.
Photos by Tado.