Evandro sits by his loom at the entrancc of UXUA Casa.He works there every day from 09.30-16.00, creating beautiful fabrics on a rather impressive loom. At the moment, he is working on cushions. He showed me the intrinsic fabric workings by his feet and it was quite unbelievable how much detail this gigantic loom can create.
Evandro has been working here since June. Introduced to Wilbert Das by a mutual friend, Wilbert invited Evandro down to UXUA as part of his Artist in Casa programme. He was meant to stay for a couple of weeks, bringing his loom to the hotel to collaborate with UXUA, create some pieces, and allow the hotel guests to view the process. Almost a year later, Evandro is still here.
I asked how long he has been working with the loom and the answer was - all his life. His entire family weaves and it is a skill that gets passed down. His parents passed the skill on to him, but there is one old lady of more than 100 years of age, in particular, who really helped him hone his skills on the loom. A very special lady, who still weaves to this day.
When I asked if Evandro’s children would work with the loom his response was simple: His kids can do or be anything in this world they want to be and he will support them. Right now they are too young, but the first skill and knowledge he will share with them is how to weave. While they will learn this unique skill, it does not necessarily mean it is the path they will choose - A Noble stance from a father who is so passionate about his craft and family.
Standing next to the loom, you are quite taken by the complicated mechanisms of this traditional contraption. It is an extremely large wooden structure, so intrinsically built, that I am told if just one slight thing is not perfect, the loom will not work. Evandro does not make this loom as it is a great speciality and they are very hard to come by. The loom is a masterpiece, so it is no wonder that the end product is so spectacular.
Upon the first meeting, Wilbert and Evandro became great friends. Wilbert speaks fluent Portuguese so they formed this bond easily. When the collaboration began, Wilbert would let Evandro know the patterns, colour ways and styles he liked, and Evandro would create. As the partnership developed and Evandro began to learn Wilbert’s style and design process, they formed the perfect team. No two pieces are ever the same and every piece is truly a bespoke item. Evandro knows Wilbert’s style exactly and can interpret his direction perfectly, so he now also enjoys the magic of creative freedom. Wilbert will choose the linens and dye them, particularly in indigo, an all time favourite of his. Evandro will attach the fabrics to his loom, and the process begins.
This really is the UXUA Casa way. Embracing the skills of local artisans, inspirations and styles, and combining them with Wilbert’s design flare and commercial sensibility. The results are one of a kind, functioning, rustic, and exquisite pieces to add to your home. Not only are the pieces amazing, but also help to give back to the communities in Bahia. It provides these amazing craftsmen and women a channel to make money from their skills, as well as helping to preserve the culture and traditions of Trancoso. UXUA Casa is truly a one of a kind place, just like the wonderful products they are creating.