Francisco: Since I was a child, I have always had an inclination for the arts, namely for painting and drawing. My father is a very gifted person, with talent for painting and ceramics and he was as inspiration for me. I grew up seeing him working and he often push me to accompanied him. Gradually I started to follow his footsteps. I ended up becoming more interested in the art of ceramics and I gradually improved the techniques and started making pieces of my own.
Francisco is a professor of computer science, this is his part-time job in which he enjoys his free time and fills it.
Francisco: So, this work is pottery, is made from clay. I’m already doing for at least 20 years. I learnt this with my dad, he’s the one who passed on this craft/skill.
So, it consists of moulding the clay, it’s called ‘Figurado’ – which is typical Portuguese, very Portuguese – basically it’s portraying Portuguese customs, figures, characters, through these pieces.
Then, the pieces are made depending on their size – depending on the type of piece, it can take a day... I can may one in a day, 2 days, a week, 2 weeks... When it’s finished, it has to dry for 15 days, it has to dry at room temperature for 15 days, at least 15 days. At the end of 15 days, the pieces are baked in a specific furnace – called a muffle furnace – they’re baked at 1000ºC. The colour of the clay reveals that it’s baked, we can now touch it, we can touch it at ease. Then, in my case, I end up... my technique is basically applying a primer coat, covering the entire piece in a white primer and then I begin to paint it and it gets a polished finish. Finally, the piece is finished.
It’s a pretty long process. People who look at the pieces probably don’t understand the amount of work that goes into it… but this is the process.
Francisco: I've graduated in Informatics and to follow the path of education I came to Madeira with the objective of educating myself pedagogically. I have lived in Madeira since 2010. Regarding art in Madeira, I believe that there are some very good artists, but that in some cases are not properly valued by those responsible for the Madeiran cultural department. The little that is done is done based on political interests, relegating the true value of art to the background.
Francisco: The best advice I can give an artist is to create, to give life to his works based on a passion for what he does. When we work with passion, this is reflected in the objects of creation and the connection with the public will be closer and more real. That it’s all that matthers.