The Portuguese have always found ways of using their natural resources, cork being a good example. They were the biggest producers of corks supplying the world's leading wine countries, but with the arrival of the screw top and plastic corks, this industry was dealt a severe blow. Undeterred, cork is now employed in the making of shoes, handbags and purses and sold the world over.
Contemporary Artists and Crafters are moving with the times and developing their own modern take on traditional crafts, mostly selling online or through their blogs thereby reaching a far wider audience. In the back streets of Lisbon you can find their work showcased in trendy boutiques and galleries such as one of my favourites Nobre Povo.
On one of our drives over the Christmas break we stopped off at one such small fair beside the beach, and found these lovely things. I particularly loved the warm sheepskin slippers, kind of regret not taking the plunge and buying myself some, blow Easyjet and their strict luggage restrictions...next time.
Beautifully embroidered bread holder.
My favourite blue and white pottery.
The famous Portuguese Cockerel in all it's colourful glory.
Purses and handbags made from cork.