If you already took the time to go through our first collections you might have noticed that every product comes from a handcraft production. Working for the past months very closely on a day to day basis with craftsmen, we would like to dedicate this article to the creation process of some of our pieces because at Denise we believe that the handmade process and methods used makes our product more authentic and the quality more reliable. As all of our artisans are located in Portugal, it is another way to praise this beautiful country we fell in love with.
Our ceramics are produced in a small workshop in Portugal composed of a handful of women. The first part of them are responsible for the creation of our different shapes by pressing locally sourced earthenware into molds before finishing them off on a potter lathe. They are baked a first time to create what they call biscuits. The second part of the process involves handpainting each piece, glazing them, a coating that makes them waterproof and finally by putting them into a kiln for 9 hours. This process gives us the finished Denise ceramic piece.
What amazed us as of day one was the energy of the place: despite working crazy hours, this team of magicians are non-stop giggling and singing to the sound of their music. Rita, their commander in chief works hand to hand with us to make sure that every design comes out of the kiln the way I imagine it.
Our glassware also comes from central Portugal. It is still one of the rare places that mouthblows glass to create uniquely designed shapes. This means that someone, in this case a group of men, takes out the melted glass at a really high temperature of the furnace, disposes it in a mold and then blows some air in the cast iron rods to inflate the glass and make it fit the shape of the mold. This rather ancient method requires a lot of energy and gives birth to unique pieces each time. Every vase, glass or pitcher has small differences in them making them so special!
As for the linen we propose, Tomaz, our local hero helps us source highest quality Portuguese linen to create our table sets and napkins. I designed my dream placemats that I had imagined in my drawings, shared them with him and he helped us print the designs on the linen. This allows us to keep the natural color of the hemp on the background but twist it with colorful patterns that will make you smile from breakfast to evening dessert.
Our pieces are a result of craftsmanship, expertise and tones of love that have been put in the process of giving life to it.
Denise could not exist without these people and we would like to give them a special thanks for that!