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Craftsmanship in Albacete

The provincial handcrafts of Albacete are undergoing a new boost due especially to the revaluation of the singularity and creativity of individual work as opposed to the homogeneity imposed by factory production.

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In other eras in Albacete, sparta handcrafts were important in the countryside of Hellín, braided fibres for the production of panniers, baskets and mats, etc. , however , today these handcrafts have practically disappeared (although some craftsmen continue this work) or the manufacturing process for the well-known wicker chairs in La Roda and especially in La Gineta. Wood crafts have also been important such as the manufacture of traditional furniture . Evidence of this is the fact that some craftsmen in Tarazona, Casas Ibañez,Villarrobledo, Almansa, Albacete, La Gineta, Hellín and Letur have specialized in making benches, chests and pottery stands.

As regards pottery outstanding is the "cuervera" of Chinchilla, Albacete and La Roda, which is a recipient especially designed for the preparation and distribution of the typical drink "cuerva", plant pots and vases are made in Tobarra and clay jars in Villarrobledo. Besides the traditional pottery, there are creative ceramics : chess sets, dolls, amphoras, crockery, coffee and tea sets, the botijo (earthenware water jar), lamps and other decorative accessories.

One of the most important branches of craftsmanship in the province was the metalwork . Besides the many forges, the manufacture of Roman Scales in Madrigueras, bronze in the Royal Factories of San Juan de Alcaraz in Riópar, sickles in Bienservida, cowbells and hand-bells in Almansa and jack-knives in Albacete, Alcaraz and Madrigueras became renowned.

There are many other examples of the skills of the craftsmen of the province, such as stone and marble carving in Chinchilla, Albacete, Alcalá del Jucar, Alcaraz, Letur and Elche de la Sierra, the manufacture of wineskins and leather products in Munera and Albacete, carpets in Lezuza, traditional textiles in Casas de Lázaro, book binding in Albacete and Yeste, bellows in Alpera, reproduction of firearms such as arquebuses and blunderbusses in Caudete and special musical instruments such as the drums of Tobarra and Hellín.

In our days, an indication of the vitality of craftsmanship is the appearance of new skills, in many cases with excellent artistic sense. The work of these craftsmen has been a genuine discovery, and those who enjoy work well done can find examples throughout our area.

Outstanding are the glass trades especially in Albacete and the games of wit in Elche de la Sierra.

fior more information:

Asociación Provincial de Artesanos de Albacete

Tel:  967 590 306

Web:  www.artesaniadealbacete.com