Friday, November 25, 2016

Esquilo Handmade & Casa Mãe, Lagos

I am very happy to announce that you can now find Esquilo Handmade scarves for sale at the Casa Mãe Loja in Lagos. Casa Mãe recently opened its doors. It is more than just a Hotel, also offering seasonal fine dining, bar, farm-to-table café, contemporary Portuguese design concept store and more with other exciting activities to come in the future. It is a showcase of Portuguese design with just about everything there found, from notebooks and pencils to toiletries being a bespoke design. If you are in Lagos, and not staying at Casa Mãe, I strongly recommend you drop by and enjoy a wander around.

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Two of a kind

Once again the loom was set up to weave two scarves and the result are very different pieces that share the warp but not the weft. I played around with the density and one scarf, as a result of being less dense, is also lighter and softer. 

There is no lack of inspiration around me:
our everyday view;
my childhood beach;
holding a balloon at the local fair;

By Mary Oliver
"I go down to the edge of the sea.
How everything shines in the morning light!
The cusp of the whelk,
the broken cupboard of the clam,
the opened, blue mussels,
moon snails, pale pink and barnacle scarred—
and nothing at all whole or shut, but tattered, split,
dropped by the gulls onto the gray rocks and all the moisture gone.
It's like a schoolhouse
of little words,
thousands of words.
First you figure out what each one means by itself,
the jingle, the periwinkle, the scallop
       full of moonlight.

Then you begin, slowly, to read the whole story."

With time it becomes easier for me to read the whole story.

Monday, October 31, 2016


It is not the first time that I take to my bag of leftovers and tie short bits of wool together to make a new length of yarn. This time around I found it very therapeutic. Somehow the process reflected more or less my state of mind and it was soothing to re-connect and make use of otherwise seemingly useless bits of colored wool. As the scarf grew so my mind settled somewhat and recomposed itself enough so that I could concentrate on more than just the task at hand. The result, off the loom, are two scarves with the same warp but two vastly different wefts.

The change of season is very welcome, Autumn will bring much needed focus and awareness. I find that the month of October and the beginning of the seasonal sleep, is for me quite the opposite of what could be, by some, considered the approach of dormancy. This season brings no more nor less transition than any another. But for me, it is always a new beginning, a chance to look forward and to reap what the summer has left for me to reflect on and fill me with, both physically and spiritually.

Nature, continues to surprise me with its "I do my thing" way of being. A walk on the hill reveals that nature does not cease to contemplate, it just goes and does. The Carob tree, my new favorite tree, has dropped its pods and has flowers ready for the next. Anyone who has ever entered into the understory of a carob tree knows how extremely beautiful and comforting these trees are. The wild thyme that looked all but dead and dry a few weeks ago begins to show its first tiny green leaves.

Some weeding in the old veggie patch reveals that here there is also much life. The yellow caterpillar is that of the black swallowtail butterfly. The chrysanthemums, after one year of sleeping have also revealed what until now had remained a mystery, a bouquet of pink flowers. The tobacco plant is taller than I am and has giant leaves.

From the unknown underground I have tubers and roots, sweet potatoes and equally sweet carrots. I won´t go hungry, this much is true. 

Happy All Hallow´s eve.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


It started raining last night. It was quite an eventful storm. The kind that wakes you with water dripping above your head and an explosive short circuit, with fire, at your front door.

The day, was well spent early on, replacing broken roof tiles, but there is still a live wire in the house, just to keep it exciting.

The overcast day, after months of perfect distracting beach weather, was the much needed kick to finish setting up the loom and weave. And so there I spent most of the day and afternoon, a very productive 1,20m of scarf.

Always present Japan, a paper mask, keeps an eye.

But the end of the day was too irresistible and with no rain in sight, it was perfect for getting out the gum boots and going for a walk. I tried to weed for a bit to make the most of the soft wet soil, but I soon got distracted. Trying to save some weed infested carrots was not really doing it for me.

The pomegranates have started to crack, possibly with the excess rain, but they are delicious all the same. The one I picked just happened to be a tiny spider´s kingdom, I am sure she´ll be fine.

For any big sky/cloud enthusiasts/artists out there, this is the place to be. Feel free to visit. Equally if you are a fan of pumpkins, drop by and grab one, they are delicious.

I confess I am not a big fruit eater, definitely not  a persimmon fan, but there is nothing like picking the fruit from the tree and eating it.

Staying on the pomegranate theme, I highly recommend Sergei Parajanov’s, 1968, "The colour of Pomegranates".

Monday, September 26, 2016

The Loot

In the current absence of suitable weaving conditions I am left with memories and objects, none of which can fill the emptiness left inside me upon leaving Kyoto, Japan. The truth is, I started missing Japan when I was still there, a feeling that is very strange, like a hangover before you even started to drink or the need for a drug that is still running through your veins.

I miss Japan.

My space is being reorganized, my house slowly cleaned, cleared and rearranged and so is my head. I´ll be weaving soon, I am sure. What I am not so sure of is when I´ll begin to weave Kasuri again. But I am armed, with a Goko Swift, a Kiwaku winder, kiwakus and drawings I made of several tools to get me started. In my spare time I´ll drink green tea and admire indigo dyed tenuguis, the one of the left is an Arimatsu Shibori by Takeda Kahei, the one on the right is Shindigo by Hiroyuki Shindo from Miyama. 

Everything else is just wonderful even if a little blurred.