Malaga Craft, the best gift for Christmas: 10 gift ideas
Christmas is approaching and what better gift can you buy than local crafts. Malaga is a province which boasts an excellent artistic level and offers products for all tastes. If you take a tour of these lands, be prepared to be indecisive because you are spoiled for choice with this rich variety. Here, we bring you ten ideas for you to be original and surprise your family and friends with handmade gifts.
Malaga has been home to the art of metallurgy since the nineteenth century, being one of the most traditional in Spain. This metallic tradition has made the province internationally famous. Celebrities and wealthy Arab sheiks across Europe have adorned their palaces with works made here facing the Mediterranean Sea. Alhaurin el Grande and Ronda, together with the capital of Malaga, are the three most famous cities noted for manufacturing these products. If you’re thinking of a unique gift, make sure you take a forged lantern as a headboard for the bed or a curious support for necklaces.
Bags, hats, lamps and rugs are some of the items you can have made with esparto. This beautiful ancient technique has represented the Andalusian artisanal landscape for decades and decades. Marbella has a factory which has worked with this material since the 50s. The “Esparto girls”, those women who began working in the company at that time, are well-known throughout the city. In Mijas, it has also been a tradition to go out into the field, pick the esparto, let it dry and work it. There are several well-known local artisans here. This area is also home to the famous donkey taxis.
The tradition of Holy Week is so entrenched in the province of Malaga that certain crafts are developed specifically for this time. There are several embroidery craft workshops which, among other jobs, are dedicated to making virgin cloaks and skirts in the capital by hand. Teba is another town with a long tradition of embroidery where you can find great artisans in this subject. If you like this kind of art, come and see the products we offer and order any designs you like. The hand-made manila embroidered shawls are especially beautiful, a very special gift that lasts a lifetime and which captures the essence of Spanish folklore.
4. Precious metals
The most beautiful works in precious metals like silver or gold is one of the most beautiful in the world in the province of Malaga. Antequera is the home of precious metalwork and also comes with a long religious tradition as shown in the city museum. If you decide to go for this type of craft for your Christmas shopping, you can find beautiful embossed silver jewellery or spectacular photo frames. A valuable choice that will surprise any recipient.
The tradition of working with clay in Malaga is as old as the origin of the city. The capital of the Costa del Sol offers beautiful hand-painted works of pottery. Coin and Velez Malaga are two other traditional ceramic areas. The mosaics made of tiles which adorn even squares and streets of several towns in the province are very well-known. In addition to jars, plates and other items, tiles are manufactured, not only for roofs but for the rustic atmosphere with many households using them as mere decorations or lamps.
Glass work was inherited by the province of Malaga from its Muslim past. They developed the various techniques which are used today. In this regard, it is interesting to go to Frigilana, a beautiful village with Arab roots preserved, part of its Andalusian charm is this art, is not only in the precise forms taken as objects but also in the use of colour. You can find hand-painted glasses, bowls, cups and other utensils. There is also carved and engraved glass. Here you can find a nice, practical handmade gift which will surprise any recipient, and if you want to redecorate your house, don’t rule out some spectacular glass.
7. Cabinet making
Within the wood industry, cabinet making in Malaga has always enjoyed special prestige. Since the Spanish Industrial Revolution, this art began to be developed more precisely and has become the quintessential decorative element in typical Andalusian mansions. Wood carving has given us dream furniture, a lot of which is exhibited in museums today because of its artistic quality in the relief. If you go to the capital, you can find a wide range of wood products, but pay special attention to the chests there.
The trade of the saddler is linked mainly to farm work and the furnishings used especially for the animals that work in it. Saddles and tacks are some of the items made for this purpose and for which craftsmen used canvas, straw, wool, rye or yarn stitched with hemp. Ronda is the city of choice for this type of craft. The functional sense of the past isn’t currently found here but they continue working in the art and objects are used for decorating homes in a rural style.
9. Leather working
Handbags, purses, jackets, coats and shoes are some of the items you can find in leather. The embossed leather found in Cortes de la Frontera, one of the Malaga villages bordering the province of Cadiz, is very well known. This art has extended over the years throughout Malaga and there are even jobs for making small objects, such as wine holders or small silk-screened portfolios which are later given out at weddings and fairs.
10. Christmas markets
But without a doubt, the best typical Malaga craftsmanship can be found in the Christmas markets which are usually held in the squares and high streets in the cities. Now the Puente de la Constitución and the Inmaculada Concepción hold all of the various stalls. In addition to all of the crafts mentioned above, you will find many other kinds of handmade items too. This year, the so-called “fofucha” dolls, made with EVA rubber, have been very popular and you can even ask the artisan to create a personalised one for you.
So now, if you’re thinking about what to buy people at Christmas, don’t forget handmade craftsmanship. The province of Malaga is full of handmade items and there are a wide variety of both techniques and objects. From furniture to small ornaments, you can find all kinds of gifts which will surprise your recipients, giving them both the unique and special touch that these personal items can.