Crafts from Mallorca

Blown glasswork, which has a long tradition on Mallorca, is one of the island´s most representative forms of craftsmanship. By blowing through an iron tube with incandescent glass paste, highly-skilled craftsmen create unique glass figures without using a mould. At the various glass-blowing workshops on the island it is possible to watch craftsmen at work, as well as being able to buy pieces of glasswork. The pieces created include home decorations, lamps and highly-considered sets of glasses, of which each glass is different.

Pieces of pottery from the island´s potteries represent one of the most active forms of craftsmanship on Mallorca; workshops produce clay pots, bowls and crockery, all of which are everyday objects in Mallorcan kitchens. Other objects are also produced, such as small buckets and siurells. The siurell is a white children´s toy which comprises a figure with brightly coloured decoration and a whistle, of which the origins are not clear; similar objects are found on other Mediterranean islands, such as Ibiza, Sardinia and Crete. Pieces of pottery can be found throughout the island, but it is at Pòrtol where most are produced and where it is possible to buy pieces at the potteries themselves.

Roba de llengües is a traditional Mallorcan fabric which is used in the home to make curtains, bedspreads and tablecloths, amongst other objects. It is a white fabric with colourful and characteristic patterns round the edge.

The craft of llatra involves the production of baskets with leaves from the palmetto tree, which is a small autochthonous palm found on Mallorca. This craft was very important in villages such as Artà and Capdepera, where these baskets are still produced today, with it being possible to buy them at markets.

Industry on Mallorca is closely linked to construction and its auxiliary industries. Other important industrial sectors include footwear and leather produce in Inca and the surrounding villages, as well as the production of artificial pearls and jewellery at Manacor. Other industries worthy of a mention include agriculture and food processing, with some craft processes maintained in the production of some goods, such as wine and cheese.

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