As an introduction, we must start by pointing out that Aragón is one of the few autonomous communities that has a complete and own Handicraft Law, which has allowed it to preserve not a few activities in extinction, at the same time that it has promoted the updating of many of them, taking advantage, to a large extent, of the traditional artisan legacy.
Teruel stands out singularly for its artisan manifestations, to such an extent that it was declared a Pilot Province of Crafts.
In broad terms, it should be noted that crafts in Aragon are closely related to the Mudejar world and the tastes and guidelines of that time still prevail today. They are important pottery centers: Alhama de Aragón, Ateca, Calanda, Naval, Bandaliés and Sigena. Capella, Fraga, Magallón, Mora de Rubielos and Muel stand out for their ceramics. And we will talk about these below, because among all the artisanal variants, the one most alive today in Aragon is, clearly, ceramics.
Aragon stands out in the peninsular area for two Mudejar specialties: towers and ceramics. Teruel continues to be Mudejar by inheritance and natural attachment to style, also in ceramics. During the 13th and 14th centuries, the city was a center specialized in the production of tiles, plates, columns and bowls, used to decorate the towers. The material used is a ferruginous paste, very reddish, varnished white, on which pure purples and bright greens stand out. The craftsmanship of the city of Teruel maintains, then, all its prestige, having recovered the techniques and spirit that motivated the creation of its ceramics in the 13th and 14th centuries.
Teruel craftsmanship is reflected in the magnificent craftsmanship of its Cathedral, from the 12th century. The potters of such fame have persisted through time since the time of the Arabs, and to a lesser extent, the work of iron. But Teruel pottery, in particular, stands out for its excellent quality.
After ceramics, iron forging has been one of the most popular crafts in Aragon. Currently, however, it has been reduced to some forges in the province of Teruel, where painstaking work is still carried out with old techniques, especially in Rubielos de Mora and Cantavieja. This industry in past times was unique, both in the Maestrazgo area and in the Albarracín mountain range, creating monumental complexes on the bars that give such elegance to the facades of manor houses. It is also possible to find crafts of this type in some places in the Pyrenees, such as Jaca, Hecho, etc.
Esparto handicrafts, spread throughout Aragon, have been recovered in La Cuba, Maestrazgo, where the Crafts Interpretation Center aims to remind visitors how important it was for many of the families of the region, the use of their own resources making artisan utensils made with esparto.
Origami is an art of making elements with paper without making cuts, the consistency of the figures is given by the folds made by the artisan, in the dedicated section at AragonGourmet we have different works made by artisans from Monreal del Campo, with a Extraordinary care and infinite patience give us with their art a series of earrings, pendants, paintings decorated with origami figures, etc.
Jewelry with Saffron from Jiloca
Saffron jewelry pieces are handcrafted, created with the same rudimentary pre-Hispanic techniques used before the Spanish invasion, which they have learned from master Mexican goldsmiths, applying from lost wax to manual propulsion, chiselling and casting, mixing silver, bronze , brass and nickel silver.
Ritamarindo has taken her several years to learn these techniques, experimenting, turning her jewelry pieces into objects that evoke the concepts of their respective lands of birth. In Mexico they introduce natural stones that they themselves look for in mines, and in Spain they have begun to make resins with saffron trapped inside, as a very characteristic element of Jiloca.