Manuel & Andreia: Woodcraving

Portuguese master woodcarver Andreia Algudes Santos and fellow Manuel Pinto Abarches


Andreia de Almeida’s early passion for crafts came from her grandfather, a tailor. She graduated in 2004 from the Arts and Crafts Institute in Lisbon and then apprenticed for master woodcarver Manuel Abrantes. Upon invitation, she worked for three years at Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva, prior to founding her own workshop, Andreia de Almeida. Here, she blends a passion for craftsmanship with artistic innovation, taking on projects encompassing sculpture and restoration.


Studying sports science, fellow Manuel Pinto started to create with wood on the side, which eventually led him to a more formal apprenticeship and to follow a course in woodwork, cabinetmaking and carpentry at Fundação Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva. 



Woodcarving duo, master artisan Andreia and fellow Manuel, took inspiration from the Stoclet Palace in Brussels and the Saint Laurent Church to create a chess set. They admired how the buildings both combine geometric lines with natural elements. This chess set comprises of three different parts: the chess board and box, a stand made of three bronze and wooden legs and the chess pieces. The pair used basswood, chesnut, macawood, and zebra wood for the set, making use of wood that was left from past projects. Each hand carved chess piece has a significance, the kings and queens together symbolise the different stages of life and the transmission of knowledge through generations.