Alba & Isabel: Basketweaving

Portuguese master basketweaver Isabel Martins and Spanish fellow Alba Castro 


Isabel Martins graduated in Accounting from ISVOUGA and worked there for almost 20 years as an administrator. Her journey as an artisan began later in her life, at the age of 55 when she was in search of change and tranquillity. Since then she has dedicated herself full time to the art of bracejo


Alba Castro studied Textile Art at the Escola Massana in Barcelona. The work of volumetry through textiles drew her towards basketry, which she explores in a sculptural and contemporary way. The piece she designed for her final project was exhibited at the Museu del Disseny de Barcelona. 

Celestial Dome


The large-scale dome, designed and handcrafted by master basketweaver Isabel and fellow Alba, invites viewers to connect with the natural cycles that govern life. The relationship between the earthly and the celestial that basketry establishes was the starting point of the project. The dome is made from a local Portuguese plant, bracejo, which is woven using the spiral technique. The repeating circular composition and the use of golden thread are a nod to the Art Deco movement. The Pantheon of Rome and the seven Roman celestial gods and planets are correlated with the piece through seven rings that give structure for the suspension.