Handcraft as a sharing knowledge

Carla has no particular artistic background, however she has always had a strong enthusiasm and aptitude for manual arts and all kinds of activities that involve creativity. This bug appeared relatively early and in a very organic way: around the age of 8/9 she learned to use a sewing machine, as well as to crochet, embroider and knit.

Such techniques have always accompanied her since then: as a child she created pieces for her dolls, later she made them for herself, then for her children, and now for her grandchildren. These hobbies give her satisfaction and, even more, the possibility to share this knowledge with others, as it was done with her.

On a professional level, her career path includes some diversity: she studied Ceramics and Glass Engineering, now known as Materials Engineering, at the University of Aveiro. She also attended the Wall Street Institute aiming to improve her English level. She took a training course in footwear modeling and leather goods at the Footwear Training Center in S. João da Madeira. She was a laboratory manager in the stoneware ceramic industry. Over 20 years she managed a chain of 10 footwear and accessory stores and oversaw the development of the brand’s collections. She co-created a women’s footwear brand, marketed at international European fairs and was also the owner of a small footwear store, where she developed some of her own models.

Currently, she’s working at the NGDO Rosto Solidário, where she is responsible for monitoring and managing the activities of the European volunteers hosted under the European Solidarity Corps program, and is also responsible for the applications and management of the same projects.

It is also at Rosto Solidário that she can put her artistic vein into practice. Here, she collaborates in the management and maintenance of the organization’s resource hub, and it was in this context that she was confronted with the large amount of donated materials: from textiles that couldn’t beconated to very deteriorated furniture. Thus, and taking advantage of the lockdown situation, Rosto Solidário proceeded with the creation of an atelier, with the collaboration of volunteers. The atelier’s main goal is to practice textile transformation, starting with the making of reusable masks and, later, developing more complex useful articles, as well as recovering pieces of furniture that without this intervention would be condemned.

To this day, the atelier serves as a place for the extensive reuse of a variety of materials and also provides a space where volunteers can learn to use tools and explore their skills in the use of various materials, all with Carla’s support and guidance.

In addition to this significant intervention in the atelier, Carla also plays a key role in one of the initiatives carried out by Rosto Solidário, the E-Crafts project, which also operated in that space. In this project, Carla was able to teach other people to work with the sewing machine, together with other artisans, working with leather, wood and various materials, always in an upcycling and recycling perspective, thus making use of some of her greatest passions: the artistic creation and the sharing of knowledge.

Carla is one of the main faces of Rosto Solidário and continues to perform her tasks with distinction within the organization. Her readiness is positively marking the path of those who come across Rosto, particularly the young volunteers she mentors.


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