Handicrafts

Some of the most popular craft items among visitors are the "calados" - drawn work embroidery - and "rosetas" - rosette embroidery. Calado is a technique used to embroider a tightly stretched piece of cloth fixed to a wooden frame, requiring good taste, patience and accuracy. It is generally used for table cloths and produces beautiful results. Roseta is a technique, mainly used in Vilaflor, that consists of making patterns with threads that are crossed over and wound round pins stuck in a "pique" - a small, almost spherical support made of cloth. By joining small pieces together, this technique is used for making individual mats and serviettes of great beauty.

Tourist and visitors may be approached in the middle of Santa Cruz, or in whichever holiday resort they are staying in, by street salesmen who offer them "Hand made Canary Island table cloths" very cheap. Of course you can buy whatever you want, but you should know that these are not the genuine article, they are table cloths that have been mass produced, usually in Hong Kong, or somewhere else in the Far East. In this short section on handicrafts, mention must be made of the historic skills of the carpenters of the North of Tenerife - mainly La Orotava and Los Realejos. They are maestros at wood carving, making doors, lattice-work, balconies, window-frames and hand-made furniture, all of which are perfect for decorating houses built in the traditional Canary Island style.

POTTERY AND CERAMICS

In Tenerife, and in the rest of the Canary Islands, there is a long tradition of working clay that has grown out of the primitive ceramic work done by the ancient Guanches, who did not use a potter's wheel. Modern potters continue to ignore the wheel. Clay is worked entirely by hand, giving truly genuine results, be they articles originally used in the household, such as "ganigos" - small traditional pots - and "asadores" - clay spit used for roasting fish, or simply adornments: bead necklaces or the famous "pintaderas" a kind of symbol that is repeated with spirals in Guanche iconography: an series of triangles set within another common triangle.

Web: www.tenerifeartesania.es   -   http://www.artenerife.com/es/

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