It is on the stream banks that you can find the necessary material for Mr. José Rosa to create his pieces. Alongside a small stream in Monchique, Mr. José has planted wicker, which grows in the spring, to be able to work in the handmade baskets he makes in his spare time. This art, he says, he “learned everywhere and nowhere”; which his family’s ancestors practiced, but it was by his own will that he learned alone to enclose the plants to create all kinds of products: baskets, bottles, among others. The 40-year expertise in this hobby allows him to make a small basket in less than 2 hours. However, he does not do it “brutally” but rather with the coolness of sometimes trying to make different braids for an even more original result. Mar d’Estórias has learned that besides the wicker, you can create pieces from many materials, such as a cane, bushes of wild olive trees and carob trees. However, here, in Mr. José’s storehouse, the wicker is worked with the patience and the wisdom of even creating his own instruments – ones to pierce the wicker and others to shred in slats, to wrap the smaller bottles.
The process of creating pieces is time-consuming but exciting for those who do it with enthusiasm – the wicker is picked up and dried out in the sun; only after drying, can the skin be stripped and soaked in water so that it is flexible when it’s time to work them.
In short, all this meticulous manual work makes these pieces unique and loaded with an immaterial value that Mar d’Estórias tries to maintain.