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Arte da Terra – Handcraft and Design

Practical details:
NUTS 1: PT1CONTINENTE
NUTS 2: PT11 Norte
Start date:
Type of initiative:  private
Description of the practice:

This Good Practice pretends to evidence that the use of local and natural products (wood, clay) can be the basis of an economic profit activity, located in a small village in a natural protected area.


The company develops a type of activity closely related with rural development and with the management plan of the National Park. Their web site is: www.aartedaterra.pt.

Arte da Terra (art from the earth) is the name of a peculiar SME and atelier. It is placed on the small village of Paradela do Rio, National Park of Peneda-Gerês.
The company was founded by a couple, both artisans, but with completely different personalities and art approaches.

They work with clay, ceramic, wood, stones, iron, straw, etc. Their art pieces reflect the critic to the society, but also the familiar and cultural values of the region.

This good practice is based on traditional and regional products associated to the natural and rural landscapes. Their founders were living outside the region and decided to return and create their own business.

Besides the art production, they also organize workshops (about art, poetry, biology, theatre, gastronomy...), involving local people, foreigner personalities and artisans (namely from Spain), what gives a bigger cultural dynamics not only of their atelier, but also to the village where they live.

Evidence of success
Biological/biodiversity values:

The company applies used materials, recycling them and even collecting abandoned materials in the mountains. Their atelier is placed on the urban area of the village. Therefore, minimum impact on nature and biodiversity.

Visual impact and recreational value:

The SME restored old traditional houses in the village, creating their the shop and workplace. Positive impact on the traditional architecture conservation and promotion.

Cultural heritage:

With the organization of thematic workshops and the artisans living in the village, there is a positive relation with cultural heritage by promoting traditional cultural assets.

Environmental impact:

Low impact.

Economic viability:

The artisans keep living and working in the village, participating in several handcraft fairs (national and international), with economic viability.

Transferability:
All natural and rural areas have materials that can be used for handcraft, with minimum impact collecting them from nature. Completly transferable to any other country.

Contact details:
Name: José Teixeira
Organisation: Arte da Terra Lda
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.aartedaterra.com


Completed on: 20.07.2011
Date added: 12.9.2011  Hits: 254
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INTERREG IVC DG Regio
The Interregional Cooperation Programme INTERREG IVC, financed by the European Union’s Regional Development Fund, helps Regions of Europe work together to share experience and good practice in the areas of innovation, the knowledge economy, the environment and risk prevention. EUR 302 million is available for project funding but, more than that, a wealth of knowledge and potential solutions are also on hand for regional policy-makers.