THE CHAIRWEAVING MASTER
Manuel Pica follows the tradition of chair makers of his region, although he taught himself the art of making seats with bulrush, the aquatic plant he harvests from water banks. Manuel began to dedicate himself to this craft, an “escape” as he refers to it, about two decades ago, when he was 30 years old. Nowadays, in his workshop in Baleizão (municipality of Beja), he passes his afternoons restoring chairs, combining the technique of interweaving plant fibers with carpentry skills. It takes Manuel six months on average to restore a chair for a customer. A time worthy of his investment, to prolong the already long life of this essential object in Alentejo households.