During a 5 days time residency in Vouzela, invited by the nomadic project Mapas Natureza, we got to know fairly well the meandering roads and small settlements that populate the Caramulo mountains.
Our first approach was to look for local people who were passionate about building and creating things with their hands. This lead us to Sr. José, a man who used to build all kinds of things in wood including bull cars and wine barrels. He was kind enough to show us how he used to do it and inspire us for our own construction.
Our chosen site was by the small river dam. Inspired by the local craftsmanship and the water devices like water mills, we planned to build a device, lodged on the edge of the retaining wall, that would transport the water from one side to the other creating a small waterfall on which people could have a refreshing shower.
The knocked down willow trees remanent from the recent storms made us decide to use those trees as the sole material for our device and try to leave the place a little better than we found it. We also decided to ask local craftsman Sr. José, to help us in this effort and be part of our construction which he immediately accepted and started doing with a giant smile on his face. From the city hall Paulo Novo joined as well with enthusiasm and there we had the perfect team for the job.
After transporting the logs, cutting and carving them, turning them into wood boards, beams and joists, we returned them to the same place where we had collected them to be assembled. The end result is the story of the encounter with this place, and a proof of what there is to share and learn with each other through the thrill of making. And, like all good stories, it ended with a big party.
Concept and design:
Building and coordination:
Colectivo Til, Sr. José, Paulo Novo
Miguel Ferraz, Vasco, Paulo Novo, Leonor Alcoforado
Idalécio Francisco, Miguel Ferraz, Paulo Novo