Our Clarisa Bag was born to honor the cultural heritage of the Castanheira Village of Alcobaça (Portugal), one of the main towns that has been dedicated over a century to the craftsmanship of the reed baskets, and the knowledgeable artisans of this art.
These Junco baskets, also known in other areas of the country such as Cintas or Cesta Alentejana. Also named Alcoas de Palma, these gorgeous satchel bags are traditional products made 100% by hand, of high quality and current design, with leather finishes.
Nowadays, artisans are essentially retired people, or people over 60 years old. There is less and less interest on part of the young people to learn this art, since it is an expensive, long and exhausting work.
That´s why it´s important to create incentives to new artisans, to give continuity to this traditional art.
They are made in a manual loom from reed dyed with pigments, in order to achieve different patterns and colors. Right in the rural village where they have lived for generations, the artisans cut the reed sticks into clusters of equal size, clean, and dry them in a process of burning sulfur. Afterwards, they color the remaining dark pieces with colored pigments, and weave them into a hand loom, producing a variety of random patterns as they go.
That means no two bags are exactly the same, each basket is unique. The finished pieces are sewn together in the form of a satchel bag and the handles made of willow branches are tied and attached to the baskets.
And that's how our Clarisa Bag comes in, a timeless bag, very resistant, comfortable to wear, super chic in any style and representing the traditional Portuguese baskets of our grandmothers' time.