Happy Wednesday! I am pleased to share with you the second installment of my BCN Handmade series, and today, we’re meeting the lovely Carmo Stichini who makes the cutest, brings-a-smile-to-my-face dolls you’ve ever seen, and other very pretty things too… Ready? Here we go: BCN Handmade – Abril.
Last December, my favourite café, Olivia Café, held an exhibit of some very pretty dolls. (You may remember, for I shared them with you here.) Now although as a little girl I had a large collection of dolls, and played with them lots, I’ve never been much of a cuddly toy person, but it was love at first sight with these, and so I just had to meet their creator.
And meet her I did! Carmo invited me to her home (not far from where I live in el Raval) where she shares a studio with her flatmate. We chatted, had some tea on her sunny balcony, and chatted some more, while she showed me more of her creations, among which are the cutest skirts for little princesses and fairies (ideal gifts for my nieces!).
It was a great morning, and I left, wrapped in smiles and smitten with Carmo’s dolls, which she sells in various shops (La Central at the MACBA is one of them), and richer for having learned more about the person behind “Abril”. You can learn a bit about her too, after the slideshow.
Where are you from?
Carmo: I’m from Lisbon, Portugal.
What does Barcelona mean to you?
Carmo: To me Barcelona is a very interesting city for the variety of people that live here. It is an “open city” and that makes me want to be here, meet new people and be “contaminated” by their experience and culture.
What is your favourite spot?
Carmo: Definitely the streets! And Olivia Café for a nice stop-over! (wink wink)
How did you get here (i.e. to where you are now)?
Carmo: I first came here 7 years ago and since then I’ve kept coming back almost every year, either to work or just to relax. This year I really wanted to stop working for a while (I have been touring the world with a band for 18 months) and have time to study and do my own projects – so I came here and I’m doing it!
When / how does inspiration strike?
Carmo: I never know when but I know I have to work on it! Inspiration is not enough to make things happen… for me to be inspired it takes time! Time to think, to see new things, meet people, walk around or even to do nothing. It’s just another phase of the work process, just as important as any other. Sometimes it takes me two days to have an idea and make it happen, others it takes me… well, I’m still finding out the limit to finish up an idea!
What do you find satisfying about your making process?
Carmo: Everything! That I run my own Schedule, that sometimes I find pieces of the process that I don’t understand right away how things will work out but they do, that an idea can be materialized in to something that will make
someone smile, that things can be transformed…
Carmo: My dreams always shine a light on my doubts, I hope everyone could have that! So, I wish we would all be strong enough to listen to our dreams, even when they seem silly and hard, and keep on moving towards them (even if only a tiny step at a time).
Carmo works with fabrics that she sources from all over the world (for example Marimekko fabric was used for the lovely doll above), colourful felt, all sorts of ribbons, pom poms and beads. She has just set up an online shop on Etsy.com, and you can find more info about her here and here.
Thanks very much, Carmo, for the yummie tea, and of course for inviting us into your studio and telling us a bit about yourself. I hope you’ll continue to make many more smiley dolls, delightful cards (yes, she illustrates too!) and pretty princess skirts for many years more!