THE MASTER BASKET WEAVER
The northeast of Algarve 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. In 2018, it was time to train the “21st Century Artisans” for Projecto TASA. Currently, the master and one of his apprentices (Martinho) live in the same village, reviving this activity that is in great decline in the Algarve.