Laboratório d'estórias
 
 
Telling a different
story of Portugal
It was with this motto that, in June 2013, Laboratório d’Estórias (meaning Laboratory of Stories) was born: an experimental space for design that aims to be inspired by the stories of Portuguese popular culture to reinvent traditional objects, using them to tell new stories — and (why not?) to recreate the history of the country.
A story in the shape
of an object
The result of this experimentation is a very specific conceptual approach. Starting with the ancient techniques of ceramics from Caldas da Rainha and materials such as earthenware, we’re able to cross the idea of a petrified basil with the supposed love Perseus and Medusa, or to learn about Lisbon’s simbol, the Crow, as a troublemaker that tried to beak women’s legs outside of taverns. Narratives of uncertain end with unpredictable paths — both in the technique and materials used, as in the stories themselves.
A collaborative project
The objects thus appear as memorials, physical evidences of a story that never really existed. But the authors of the project do not intend to be the only ones to tell it: by inviting national illustrators and even the public to add value to the final product with their interpretations, story and image become part of the reinvented objects, taking them beyond their purely decorative or functional purpose.
A collection of legends
that materializes in
artifacts of desire
In the end, each piece is in itself an unique and dynamic story ready to be discovered. From the whole comes the added value of a collection that merges reality with myth, tradition with fable, but, above all, that gives free rein to our imagination, casting a fresh and irreverent look over dormant icons of Portuguese folk culture; objects to be enjoyed within and outside the countries borders, seeking to tell another story of Portugal.
Stories that cross
with other stories
In Laboratório d’Estórias (Ld’E), everyone is invited to participate. More than an experimental space for creation, this “Lab” keeps its doors open to collaborating with other entities – companies or individuals – who wish to tell their own stories or cross themselves with stories already known. In this sense, it also focuses on product development and design for external customers, and also holds advisory services, research and development, design, implementation and management of all types of projects and of industrial products and crafts.
The technique
In this laboratory, even the technique reveals a story — and this one starts at the beginning of the 19th century, specifically between 1820-1853, when a potter named “Maria dos Cacos” became the first of a long tradition of potters from Caldas da Rainha. There is little information on the subject, but from her ceramic factory would leave bowls, pottery, bottles and toothpick holders, bathed in green glazed glass and with honey colour with grooves, that eventually became popular and sold at fairs across the country.

Nowadays, with the closing of several factories in Caldas and a process of manufacturing ceramic increasingly industrialized, this ancient technique is a story that is threatened to get lost forever. And it’s in this attempt to preserve this knowledge that Laboratório d’Estórias (Ld’E) finds a reason to exist, recovering and valuing the painting techniques of the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries and the vast tradition of manual techniques peculiar to Caldas da Rainha; but, at the same time, not putting aside the possibility of drawing inspiration from other techniques, perhaps to tell other stories.
  • RUTE ROSA and SÉRGIO VIEIRA
    Authors
  • ANA FELIX
    Writting
  • BRUNO REIS
    Illustration
  • CATARINA SOBRAL
    Illustration
  • CÉSAR SOUSA
    Writting
  • CRISTINA OLIVEIRA
    Chemistry
  • DAVID CASCALHEIRA
    Moulding
  • Dª. ERMELINDA
    Manufacture
  • FERNANDO SILVA
    Moulding
  • FITA COLA
    Illustration
  • JOANA BÉRTHOLO
    Writting
  • JOANA FIALHO
    Writting
  • JOÃO CABAÇO
    Illustration
  • JORGE DIAS
    Communication design and Illustration
  • JOSÉ CARLOS ALMEIDA
    Moulding
  • KEITH LEWIS
    Translation
  • LENACER
    Manufacture
  • LUÍS FAVAS
    Illustration
  • LUÍS ROSA
    Web Design
  • MOLDE
    Manufacture
  • OLFAIRE
    Manufacture
  • RICARDO HENRIQUES
    Illustration
  • STORYTAILORS
    Artistic collaboration
  • TERESA LIMA
    Manufacture
  • TERESA MOREIRA
    Illustration
  • VIRIATO GRAÇA
    Moulding
Contact us
Caldas da Rainha — Portugal


(+351) 96 4492 498


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