Hi! Today we start a new month, and I am starting a new section for the blog. I hope you like it!! The section is dedicated to all things handmade that are produced in Barcelona, and meet the following criteria: well made, beautiful, stylish, different… I’m kicking off this section today with a lovely couple who recycle and restore items that have been discarded by others, and which they have either found on the street, or been given by friends. They are Amato Sole.
I first learned of Amato Sole when I spotted their pretty mirrors at Il·lacions (you can see the post here) and it wasn’t long before we’d made arrangements to include a post about their gorgeous items (furniture, lamps and other beautiful objects) in the Cute Suite blog and some time after, they welcomed me into their shop/studio/home. Their welcome was warm and their generosity (regarding time, information, permission to photograph everything, including their home) was overwhelming! So I am super happy to share my photos with you today, and (after the slide show) allow them to tell you a little bit more about themselves…
Where are you from?
Annamaria: I’m Italian, or rather, Sicilian.
Ramón: I’m from Barcelona, but above all, since a few years, from the Raval.
What does Barcelona mean to you?
Annamaria: Barcelona represents my second city, similar to my hometown in climate and sea, but it is also the first place where I have finally been able to express myself without fear, because there are alternative realities.
Ramón: Barcelona is to me where I live, where I’m from, and where I really want to live. But what is really more important to me, is the Raval neighborhood, because of its multiculturality,because of the difference between night and day, because of my friends, and because it is like living in a small village where everything is close-by.
Annamaria: Good question, I don’t know if I have one, or if I do, it changes depending on the season or the state of my soul. I believe my favourite places are the more hidden corners of the city, which I get to know by chance and where I find treasures. Oh, I almost forgot “ Los Encantes” (a flea market near Glòries).
Ramón: My favourite place, although I don’t go often because it’s too full of people, is Parc Güell.
How did you get to where you are now?
Annamaria: I arrived at this space and to the Raval because of love. I met Ramón, and after going out for some time, we decided to live together. That’s how I moved into his Raval triplex.
Ramón: I was already living in the Raval and about 3 years ago I was looking for a space to fix up and convert into my workshop and home, and I found this place. It took me more than a year to make it livable and another year later Anna and I started the shop.
When / how does inspiration strike?
Annamaria: Inspiration surges when I see the objects that surround me every day. One day it’ll be one item, the next another. At times I leave whatever I’m doing because I suddenly remember a piece and think of a solution I had been looking for.
Ramón: As a designer, I find that inspiration is something you can’t control, as it surges at any moment and in any situation. Inspiration often surges as a result of trying many things out, by chance, by thinking of solutions that have nothing to do with anything particular. I always have a notebook at hand, so even if I’m half asleep, I’ll get up to sketch the idea.
What do you find satisfying about your making process?
Annamaria: When Ramón agrees with my idea.
Ramón: The moment of ecstasy when a thousand ideas or solutions come to your head and you don’t have the time to sketch them all up. It’s a moment to stop, smoke a cigarette and smile. Those moments, when you’ve really achieved something, are very happy ones.
Annamaria: To take on all the interior design projects of bars and restaurants in Barcelona! (Giggles) Really? That Amato Sole will one day be a brand in furniture and lamp design that is well-known and respected.
Ramón: That we may do well. Be recognised for what we do and continue to be happy doing what we do.
Thanks Annamaria and Ramón for being the first to appear in this new section!
If you’re in the Raval, be sure to visit their shop – I’m sure you’ll love their furniture and lamp designs as much as I do! The shop is open from Wednesday through Saturday, from 5pm until 8.30pm.
For more info, check out the Amato Sole site here.