THE MASTER BASKET WEAVER,
FROM MONTE DAS
Monte das Furnazinhas is home to basket weavers, who have learned their craft out of the need and resourcefulness of generations of ancestors. António Gomes is no exception. He began making baskets aged seven (he is now 69). He learned by watching the repeated movements of his elders, and by trying it for himself, weaving and unravelling. He has worked as a cabinetmaker, a mechanic and a machine operator. When plastic invaded everyday life, cane baskets become nothing more than entertainment, or the stubborn act of anyone keen not to lose their love for this art.
In the late 80s, António Gomes taught on a course teaching a group of young women. For many years his involvement in the craft industry was limited to the “castle markets” in Castro Marim. Since becoming involved with TASA, he weaves almost on a daily basis. And what he really likes is “these inventions, and knowing that this basket I’m making is going to Oporto”.