{the interview series} perdi o fio à meada

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

A nossa primeira convidada de 2012 é portuguesa e cria belíssimos acessórios em crochet sob o mote perdi o fio à meada. Embora esta expressão em português seja sinónimo de confusão, Vera João Espinha parece ter encontrado e bem o seu caminho: a cor e a natureza servem de inspiração para designs originais que evoluem sempre em novas e surpreendentes direcções.
Percam-se também - mas pelas palavras e fotografias do trabalho da Vera!

[Este post pertence à rubrica semanal {the interview series}, onde publico uma nova entrevista todas as quartas-feiras, com artistas e bloggers inspiradores que admiro, de acordo com o espírito handmade e um estilo de vida criativo. Tornem-se fãs no facebook e não percam nada!
Por motivos óbvios de extensão e compreensão do texto, tanto pelos entrevistados como pelos potenciais leitores do resto do mundo, a entrevista segue em inglês.]

Our first guest of 2012 is Portuguese and creates beautiful crocheted accessories under the motto perdi o fio à meada. Even though in Portuguese this expression might be synonym of confusion, Vera João Espinha seems to have found the right path: color and nature serve as inspiration to original designs that always evolve in new and surprising directions.
Get yourself lost as well - but in the words and photographs of the work of Vera!

[This post belongs to the weekly feature {the interview series} where I publish a new interview every wednesday with inspiring artists and bloggers I admire, according to the spirit of handmade and a creative lifestyle. Become a facebook fan and don't miss a bit!]

Vera João Espinha | perdi o fio à meada ®
blog | shop


1. Let’s pretend we don’t know each other and I’ve never heard about Vera João Espinha. Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am Portuguese, I was born in Lisbon and I'm 37 years old. I work as a graphic designer at a book publisher and I created my own brand perdi o fio à meada based on manual production of contemporary accessories.

2. You are a graphic designer working full time in a book publisher and you create crocheted accessories for your brand perdi o fio à meada. How and when was this creative passion born?
I always liked to draw or paint, and design was a natural choice. The relationship with both grandmothers in childhood developed my interests for some traditional techniques and it has grown with me.


3. I confess that I’ve already tried to learn how to crochet with my mother, but I really think I don’t have what it takes! When did you learn how to crochet? Is it a family tradition?
I learned to crochet with my grandmother (father side) when I was 8 or 9 years old. It was a way to keep me busy in the afternoons. It's not exactly a family tradition, it was very common in old generations, women do and have knowledge of traditional techniques.
It’s common that a person starts knitting because she will have a baby, in my case, I always did crochet and knitting, and I still do.

4. You create beautiful handmade accessories and you design and manually create each piece. I love your original designs and the beautiful colors you choose! How do you manage to keep creating new and original models? Would you share your creative process with us?
Besides working at a book publisher, I am a mother of a 6 years old girl and of course I can’t create all the things I imagine because I don’t have much time, so I create pieces in small series.
In this work I usually say “the needle is my pencil”, I don’t sketch the pieces on paper; an idea comes up and I start creating it, then I go along until I’m pleased with the result.

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5. I think it’s really hard to pick a favorite piece, but I must say that I especially love your colar circular (circular necklace). Do you have a favorite? Can I ask you what’s been your best seller until now?
I love the circular necklaces, the pétalas brooches and pinecone pin, but the bestseller until now is the abacus pin.

colar circular
colar circular

6. Your creations are inspired by nature and you even keep a blog with your beautiful photographs of objectos naturais (natural objects). Tell us a bit about this project and your other sources of inspiration.
My first inspiration comes from childhood, from the contact I had with my two grandmothers, who did everything by hand. My research is based on natural forms, especially from my collection of "natural objects" — stones, leaves, tree branches, seeds. That blog is just a query file to be viewed more easily. Creativity is a continuous process and I may be inspired in different moments of the day, like some colours in a photograph, a painting, a piece I already created before, my grandmother's doilies or when I make some recycled objects with my daughter.


7. How about your collaboration with Margarida Pintassilgo, from Margapinta? I think the pieces are beautiful, combining the best of both worlds. How was it born and how does it work?
I knew Margarida from blogosphere because I bought her a pair of earrings, later we exchanged a few emails and we made some affinities in several areas, and today we become good friends! Margarida proposed to me a collaboration and I accepted because I love her work. The collaboration went well and we could have continued to make other things together but it's hard for me to have the required time to a project like that.

8. You were already featured in so many inspiring blogs and you even received some promising prizes, such asPOP’s, by Serralves. What means do you use to promote your work?
I use internet to promote my work, but the best promotion is when people use the pieces. Some people think that being online is everything and have a page on facebook is indispensable, but they are wrong, there is so much work behind the scenes you don't see. You only have success if people really like it, buy it and use it, just talk about it isn't enough.

colares + pulseiras

9. Would you give us a glimpse of your working space? Describe it and tell us what you love most about it.
At the moment I work at home, don’t have time to go to a studio. I work at night in my living room, sometimes is very confusing.


10. Tell us now about the place where you live and what you love most about it. Would you like to live anywhere else one day?
I always lived in Benfica. Then I moved into my house with my husband, which is very close but isn’t the same. I miss neighborhood life and leave home to go for a walk everywhere without using my car.

11. If you could live in any historical era of your choice, what would it be and why?
I like to live in my time. Right now I feel we have the power to change our future and it's fantastic. I wouldn't like to live the life of anyone or in another time.

✂ \|/
(((( ) )(

12. You take beautiful photographs, that you share in your blog and that you even turned into postcards. Is photography another passion of yours? What else are you passionate about?
Pictures are almost my right arm from my memory. I like photographing, but I have other passions, just don't have time for all…

13. We are both Portuguese,so I don’t resist asking: what are the main problems you face being an artist in our country, Portugal?
The government should truly support small business owners like me, giving more value to those who promote the traditional art of Portuguese culture. The taxes we pay for everything are very high, is difficult to support a little business like this, we need to invest in ourselves because they don’t invest in us, culture is no supported as it used to be.

quem quer, quem quer…

14. What advices would you give to someone who would also like to become a designer/artist?
A handmade work requires a lot of our time, sometimes consume us completely, and it’s difficult to separate it from the rest of our lives when it becomes a serious business. If we really love what we do, try don’t give it up. It’s important to believe in our work, we must be good at what we do, and I always say this but it's true: we make our own luck.

15. What are your plans for the future? And your most unrealistic dreams?
A few years ago I used to plan my life, but is frustrating when we reach a certain point and we don't achieve them all. Now I don’t make lists, there are also good unexpected things that we don't plan.
But I have my dreams… of course. I would like one day to have a business of my own. Would love to have a studio with lots of space, and occasionally open to the public to show my work.

cachecol + ábaco

Now a quick question and answer game so we can find a bit more about you and your tastes!
Tell us one:

book: The House of the Spirits and Memoirs of a Geisha
music: Too many to list, but at the moment I hear a lot Beirut, Cat Power, Coldplay… next month I will probably be listening to others…
movie: The Motorcycle Diaries is a very inspiring movie for me
personality/artist: Can I say my daughter?! She makes little creations that never crossed my mind to do
color: red
object: stone
animal: meerkats
drink: water of Luso and magnolia tea
food: warm bread and a portuguese soup «caldo verde»
seasonof the year: summer
travel destination: any place very very warm
piece of clothing: tunic, skirt and scarf (I can't choose one of those)
secret: it’s always a secret, and I can keep it

Thank you for sharing your beautiful work with us Vera!


  1. Really wonderful works!
    Congrats :-)

  2. Wow, beautiful work and interesting interview.

  3. Thank you for introducing us to this unique artist. Her use of color and the variety of ways she uses crocheted pieces is amazing!

  4. Wonderful art and such an interesting person---loved the article!!
    Smiles, Karen


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