Happy Wednesday! I am delighted to share another BCN Handmade with you today – this time, we’re going all out vintage, feminine, dainty… for I am taking you to meet the very lovely Elisabet Urpí, who makes beautiful hats, headdresses and jewellery from antique and vintage materials that she sources from antique shops, markets and shop closing sales. Ready? Here goes: BCN Handmade – [eliurpí]
Not long ago I saw a post, about the lovely things Eli makes, flash by on Facebook, and was intrigued, for although there is a lot of vintage going on in Barcelona, she takes it a step further with her graceful, romantic style which makes you think of the earlier days of the twentieth century.
So I contacted her and very soon I was invited for a visit to her home, where in a small room that is filled with boxes, mannequins, trunks, suitcases and hatboxes (often vintage themselves), she makes her beautiful and unique pieces that each tell a story thanks to the origins of the materials used.
Eli’s home in the Barri Gòtic is decorated with the same taste and style as the artful pieces Eli creates, and with Edith Piaf singing in the background, Eli told me about her origins, trajectory and current projects, and showed me the hat she is currently working on, aplying a lovely antique, cream coloured lace to a black, wide brimmed Summer hat. But enough of my ramblings, have a look at the images I took, and afterwards, Eli will tell you in her own words about herself…
Where are you from?
Eli: I was born close to Barcelona, in a very small village of about 80inhabitants. I came to study and to live in Barcelona some eight years ago. From here, and from there, always feeling like a foreigner.
What does Barcelona mean to you?
A city with history, that inspires me, where you get connected, meet, learn, where new experiences and people appear, which drive me to do what I do.
Eli: A space where you can sense and relive stories, past experiences. A place where you learn and which always surprises you.
A small restaurant, quiet, familiar, always with simple and good food, with live music. I like those places that you find when you lose yourself in a city.
I graduated from Elisava in Barcelona. I combined studying design with several art, contemporary art, and exhibition curation workshops. During and after my studies I worked in art direction and advertising. Afterwards I combined all kinds of jobs with design and art. That’s when I had a couple of exhibits, the most relevant of which was my solo exhibit “CONNEXIONS” at the “Vestits de Paper” Museum.
At present I am dedicated fulltime to the [eliurpí] Dissenys d’Època. A project that is related to fashion, specifically accessories: headpieces, hats and small jewels that transport you to past eras. Unique and exclusive designs made with vintage and antique materials.
How did you get here (i.e. to where you are now)?
Circumstances, connections, the day to day, being constant… I’ve always been drawn to design, they say I’m like my grandmother, who was a typical seamstress… I suppose that it’s where my love for the unique and artisanal comes from. The inspiration from past eras comes from love, from the memories of and the admiration for my grandmother. Dresses, jewels, details, the objects found around the house, each and every one of them, transmits an idea and a story. My trajectory is the day to day.
What inspires you?
Going for walks, discovering, getting to know new things. Books, images, films, music.
When / how does inspiration strike?
There isn’t a particular moment, but it can be at any time, when you speak with someone, while they explain something, sleeping, reading, or while making a hat ideas of how to start another piece come to me. It happens.
What do you find satisfying about your making process?
I love discovering fabrics, pieces, and start to create a life by crafting. Objects with a story, feelings, which are transmitted with textures and colours of each of them. Each headdress tells it’s own trajectory, either by the fabric used or by the piece I found and used for it. The whole process is satisfying, sketching, the hunt for frabrics, buttons, pieces, feathers… creating. Rectifying. And seeing it finished.
To live from the work that I love.
Eli works mainly on her beautiful and unique hats, more often than not on commission, but also makes her lovely jewellery pieces which are a great success at trade fairs and vintage markets, such as “Lost and Found“, the latest edition of which took place last Sunday. The best way to find out where you can find Eli’s artful creations, is by checking her Facebook page here, or her Blog here, but I would suggest you check her Online shop here, for you are bound to find something you’ll love and will need to get your hands on!
Thanks Eli for your warm welcome into your home and studio, for sharing your beautiful project with us, and for the pretty necklace you gave me – I will cherish it always.