Hi João, tell us a little bit about yourself…
Hello Paula! Thanks for inviting me!
My name is João, I’m 48 years old and I work with wool.
Where do you come from?
I was born in Tomar and that’s where I live and work now.
What is your educational background?
I have a degree in Communication Sciences.
Have you always wanted to work creatively? What steps did you take to make it happen?
Although I may have a genetic gift for crafts I always wanted to be a TV journalist since I was young. And actually I become one. My creative chip was only activated after quitting journalism. But to be honest I think all my background was very important to what I became. Mostly in terms of visual culture.
When did you start your own brand?
It happened in 2006. My first brand was “água de prata” and that was when I started to work with wool.
Who or what inspires you to create everyday?
My desire of improving myself and spreading beauty with my work.
How do you disclose your work?
I have my own website and social media accounts. Most of my new customers find me on the internet. Also there’s always my older customers that amazingly continue to buy me pieces and the reference they make to their friends is the best advertising I can have.
Which event or moment changed it all since you started made people discover your work?
It’s all a sum I think. Although after my first presence at the London Design Fair in 2017, people started to look at my work with a different perspective.
Which pieces are your bestsellers? Why do you think?
The long benches, the wall panels and of course the wool stones.Which pieces are your bestsellers? Why do you think?
The stone (kind of wool pouf) because it’s a very iconic piece and its game of colors is very appealing. The benches because they are versatile pieces and of course because of its color combinations too. The same with the panels, it’s like having a wool painting!!!
How do you balance art and the administration side of freelancing?
Actually I’m not a freelancer anymore, I run a company. It’s not easy of course because my mind is 90% art and 10% business.
What are your next projects?
Two exhibitions, one of them already next month with Lisbon by Design. The other, at the end of the year so I can't talk about it yet. Regarding my pieces, there will also be new ones that I will present very soon.
What is for you the meaning of being part of Portugal Manual?
It's having the feeling of being part of something bigger, something that matters and gives strength. It's these bonds that unite us and give us more strength as a collective and as an individual. Our work is recognized.
The mission that Portugal Manual has set itself and its work have been consolidated over time and the collective is increasingly valued. It is a group effort that makes us stronger since we are all working in the same direction.
Where can we find your work/pieces?
Only few shops sell my pieces: QuartoSala, Batik Interiores and of course CCB/Portugal Manual.
I remain available for customization (model, colors...) or by order.
Photographs: Courtesy of Carmo Oliveira