Cunqueiro de Palas
RESTORING THE TRADE OF A CUNQUEIRO
A cunqueiro is an artisan who makes wooden bowls, a traditional trade which was the main livelihood of several regions many decades ago. The cunqueiro's lathe is the oldest wood turning tool and it was no longer used after the emergence of more sophisticated machines. For this reason, it is even more interesting and necessary the work of Hussein Kali-Taleb through O Cunqueiro de Palas. In addition to using autochthonous wood and environmentally-friendly processes, Hussein defends restoring this trade; he wants the natural raw materials to be valued and to invigorate the local production by defending tradition: "The trade of a bowl maker is charged with great culture, which is present in its old pieces and its values"
Ever since childhood, Hussein Aali-Taleb has been captivated by the"artisan's know-how and trade". He taught himself the wood turning techniques until his hobby ended up being his profession and he established Cunqueiro. This new start entailed a series of difficulties which Hussein managed to avoid and he went from having a workshop with limited means to being a professional who is able to meet any demand: "I was used to turning as a hobby and I had to shift to a more productive way of turning". He also high-lights the importance of fairs during that stage as places where one can promote oneself, network and learn about the needs of the market.
To differentiate his products from the rest, O Cunqueiro de Palas emphasises the importance of the type of wood: "We buy autochthonous wood (birch, ash, oak, alder, etc.) that has been sawn into planks and air-dried without any kind of chemical treatment. Once wood has expanded, it is examined to remove any defects and then it is prepared for the lathe. The aim of the design process is to find a balance between aesthetics and functionality in order to offer quality pieces adapted to the current demand : "Our design is based on the update of the culture of the area.
BOWL & MORTAR
Birch wood, Natural or Lacquered white. Oil finished (mineral), suitable for food use
Lathe handmade in Galicia from one piece of autochtonous wood.
Lathe lacquer gives a special surface texture with parallel white lines, this lacque is suitable for alimentary use
Birchwood is a hard wood and is plentiful in Europe. Our birchwood products originate from forests in Galicia and it’s air dried without any kind of chemical treatment.
Unlike utensils made of metals and plastic, wood utensils do not contain additives and the production is far more environmental. This makes not only birchwood products but wood products overall a better solution.
CARE & MANTEINANCE
This piece come oiled and ready for use, depending of the use you may oil the surface regularly.
Wipe the bowl off with a wet rag, let it dry to the touch, then coat it liberally with mineral oil and place on paper towels for a few hours. (You can use olive oil but mineral is preferable). After it has absorbed all the oil, wipe any excess off. Once the bowl is well seasoned with oil, you can wash it in the sink whenver it's dirty, dry the wood bowl immediately after washing. Never soak the bowl in water or put it away wet.
Don't ever put it in a dishwasher. The intense heat and extended time in water will damage the wood.
And don't put it in the cupboard. Put it out on the coffeetable or a countertop, somewhere that people can see it! It's not just a bowl, it's a work of art