A couple of weeks ago a friend told me there was a new shop in town and suggested I check it out. And so I discovered Formista, a shop / gallery in which the co-proprietors Mónica and Claudia display and sell “things made by people” and periodically host exhibits by contemporary artists. Formista is located in the heart of Ciutat Vella, on Carrer Sagristans (a street that runs parallel with the avenue in front of Barcelona’s cathedral) in a bright spot on a corner, and, with its white walls all round, is a perfect blank canvas for all the lovely items on display.
At the entrance a kind of vanity table (re-crafted from the end of an old table and with a set of pigeon holes and mirror added on top) welcomes anyone who ventures in with a collection of delightful jewellery pieces by, among others, Berta Sumpsi. Then the rest of the shop, which isn’t large, but still is a comfortable space, opens up before us with the many things it has to offer: an installation of collages by local artist Fito Conesa, various pottery items, colourful leather pouches and bags, more jewellery, more ceramics…
… and on a pedestal, another installation: a dainty jewellery box with a miniature landscape inserted inside. Also by Fito Conesa.
The collection on display is eclectic, but well curated by Mónica and Claudia themselves, and a reflection of their own backgrounds, which are in architecture and jewellery design respectively. It shows. The range of products is diverse, well-designed, and often exquisite. They even sell a line that they design themselves: “keepme” is a selection of leather items, handcrafted in the Dominican Republic, where the function dictates the shape, and where each of its components is visible in its purest form.
I particularly like the leather plant pot cover they have created (above) which will add interest even to a humble cactus. In the centre of the shop they have a couple of beautiful tables on which they display yet another collection of interesting items. The sculptural vases by Matteo Zorzenoni with their Carrara marble bases and handblown glass baubles protruding from them are absolutely stunning.
Beautiful ceramic jars by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba are surrounded by more pieces of jewellery by Berta Sumpsi, and under a glass dome, we find some very interesting rings by Idili: long strips of metal engraved with excerpts from books. The full text is provided on a hangtag, to make reading a little easier.
More lovely bits and pieces are found on a quirky shelving unit by the entrance.
What caught my eye, were the book by local artist Jaime Hayon, the pretty scarves, and also the sumptuous colour of the aubergine pottery by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba.
There are too many wonderful items available at Formista to name them all here. It’s much better to check them out in person if you’re in the area! Formista is closed on Monday mornings. The rest of the week, they open at 12am, close for lunch from 3pm to 4pm, and then are open in the afternoons until 8pm. Check out their blog here and their Facebook page here for more information.