Covet House Foundation: The Art of Craftsmen
Earlier this week, Mansionly showed you the wonderful world of Covet House. The brands under their umbrella and how each brand is wonderfully unique in their own way. Bringing to the table innovative and inspiring design. So now that we know everything Covet House, we thought it would be fitting to fill you in on the craftsmanship of their products, how they are made and the good they are doing in the world when it comes to keeping the art of crafting such beautiful pieces in a world full of mass production and dying craftsmanship techniques.
“We want to celebrate and honor the craftsmanship and every single person who creates soulful pieces with their own hands. A tribute to all makers for their wisdom, storytelling, and for building a history with beautiful creations through ancient techniques and raw materials. We stand up for the ones that keep the art of craftsmanship alive. A desire to reveal the process as a peer of the finished product itself. In this journey from the past towards new cultural progress, we are committed to promoting creativity and innovation, to respecting traditions and safeguarding the heritage. We support those who devote themselves to the excellence of craftsmanship.” – Covet Foundation
Covet Foundation really honors the craftsmanship and skill it takes to put together their furniture pieces, lighting, tiles and everything in between. Covet Foundation was created to keep the craftsmanship of the techniques alive. With today’s technology and mass production, they found how important it was to ensure the art of making timeless unique pieces with your hands would never disappear.
The craftsmen who create these pieces need to be celebrated. They have dedicated their lives to the art of creating. So let us tell you a bit about two of the craftsmen in the Covet Foundation.
MR. FERREIRA | 30 YEARS MASTERING TILES (AZULEJO)
Among the remaining Portuguese artists of titles (azulejo) is Mr. Ferreira, a brilliant mind who is always looking to create antique things and historic panels yet in a forward-thinking way. One of the most representative art forms of the Portuguese cultural heritage. The renowned blue hand-painted tiles reflect a tradition with hundreds of years, and it often portrays scenes from the history of the country or its fabulous sights. Azulejo is usually clay or ceramic plate piece, generally with a square shape decorated with glazed colorful designs, and repeated hundreds to a few thousand times. It is used as a wall covering decoration, being linked to architectural use, covering a large surface area on both the inside and outside of buildings. The majority of tiles illustrate Moorish designs which have curvilinear, lacelike and looping designs, or even have geometric or floral motifs.
“The master at the company I worked and believed in a very important thing: continuation, to guarantee the transition of knowledge from generation to generation.”
MR. ROCHA | 30 YEARS MASTERING FILIGREE
Filigree is the most delicate technique used to work precious metals, usually of gold and silver. It is an age-old and detailed jewelry expression in which skilled artisans painstakingly solder tiny beads and twisted threads to create striking artistic motifs, suggesting often an exquisite and intricate lace-like patterns. Firstly, the metal is stretched until it becomes a very fine thread, it can have different weights. It takes a small piece and bends, twists, folds, and wraps the wire-like metal to form the desired shape. The fine wire elements are soldered together. The art of filigree was born during the Roman period and it was passed down through the generations of skilled medieval jewelers, often emulating the work of the Byzantine goldsmiths of Constantinople, embellished crosses, reliquaries and the covers of bibles. Later, the filigree became very popular in the French fashion world from the ’60s until today. And actually, countries such as India, Italy, and Portugal, have been treasuring it.
“I work with my hands and my hands only”.
Some of the techniques that the Covet Foundation works on in their workshop is wood carving, gold leaf gilding, metal casting and tiles.
Wood Carving: One of the oldest arts of humankind, the art of making sculpturing ornaments in a wooden object creates undeniable beauty forms and shapes. From its natural look and textures, to highly polished and colored versions, wood has always been easily accessible and relatively easy to manipulate, attracting the interest of artists and designers over the years. Adding details to a piece can be performed thru different wood carving styles and techniques, such as pattern, blocking, detailing, surfacing, or smoothening.
Gold Leaf Gilding: The gold leaf application can be called gold leafing or gilding. It has been a process of ornamental decoration used on different materials and surfaces by the application of a thin layer of gold. It is available in a wide variety of karats and shades, and actually, there are a few substitutes for gold such as silver or copper. Using different techniques, the art of gilding has been mostly applied to the decoration of art objects, such as statues, or even pictures frames.
Metal Casting: The art of casting metals into a chosen shape and size. The process starts by melting metal into a liquid, pouring it in a mold with a cavity of the desired shape, and removing the material, or casting, after the final work gets cool and then solidified. The solidified part can be ejected or even broken out of the mold. This technique is one of the most used for making intricate forms that would be difficult to have from other methods.
Tiles: One of the most representative art forms of Portuguese cultural heritage. The renowned blue hand-painted tiles reflect a tradition used for hundreds of years. Azulejo is usually clay or ceramic plate piece, generally with a square shape decorated with glazed colorful designs, and repeated hundreds to a few thousand times. It is used as a wall covering decoration, being linked to architectural use, covering a large surface area on both the inside and outside of buildings.
Source for Covet Foundation Techniques: https://www.covetfoundation.com/masters-craftsmanship/techniques
When it comes to different arts and crafts combined to make their products, Covet House is a master of them all. In an interview, Boca do Lobo did with Ricardo Magalhães- Covet House Creative Director, gave us some insight into his thoughts on the disappearance of these crafts.
Boca do Lobo: — Isn’t the Knowledge of those crafts disappearing?
Ricardo Magalhães – They are. We have contact with a few associations that still teach those areas. I can give you an example, the joinery and metalworking are the areas in which the formation is smaller than the demand. There is a lot of demand, but the young don’t want it. They are only interested in the programming of CNC. Today, our youngest woodworker must be 35 years old and come from Famalicão every day. When it comes to production, in joinery, the average of our workers is about 50 years old. We have the disposition to educate, but no one wants to be educated. On the computing side, yes, but manually no, and, in areas like welding and glass, which is a howling case, people who we want to work with are almost in the retirement or almost there. That causes us discomfort, because, in a short period of time, we can stop having the ability to answer in Portugal.
Boca do Lobo – What set of arts and crafts you combine in your products?
Ricardo Magalhães– Oh: carpentry, joinery, woodwork, glass, marquetry, brass, ceramics… Our first piece with most projection had twelve suppliers. Whoever wants to copy out work is going to have to scratch their head. Only on the glass, we work in three areas.
Mansionly has always had admiration for the kinds of products Covet House produces. The brands they back and the craftsmanship has always been of great interest, so it was no surprise when Alexandra Kraft, Co-FOunder of Mansionly set off to Portugal to get a sneak peek into the Covet House workshop.
“Having seen the products so far only in showrooms and exhibitions it was fantastic to get a glimpse of all the hard work and amazing craftsmanship that’s behind all of this. Those items are truly more a piece of art than just furniture.” – Alexandra Kraft, Co-Founder of Mansionly
After sitting down with Alex and chatting about what really caught her attention when wandering around the incredible workshop, she told us that it took the craftsman roughly 12 weeks to create a cupboard that has metal casting. That’s 12 weeks of dedication to the skill and technique that will forever be a standing timeless piece.
This is the result of two different hammers that the craftsman used to create this texture and effect. A 2sqm of this sheet is the output of one worker per day of hard work, again, we’re stunned by the skill and attention to detail.
The brass around this console is heated and then wrapped around, to finish off this fine piece.
That’s it for now on the Covet House. A brand which has well and truly inspired us all at Mansionly when learning all about how special this brand really is. One of a kind and one to watch out for as they’re setting trends in the furniture business and as an international design firm in India, we’re watching with close eyes to see which trends we could bring into our projects here.
To get your interiors done by our international designers with some fine pieces of furniture from Covet House, get in touch.