Figures hand modelled in red clay, fired and polychromed, using traditional techniques and materials.
Craftmanship of Estremoz clay figures is classified as Intangible Cultural Heritage by UNESCO.
I was born in Estremoz, a Portuguese town in Alentejo province, in 1963. I am a descendant of the main family that developed the terracotta artisanship in Estremoz. My grandfather, Mariano da Conceição, contributed decisively in the 1930s to recover the art, almost lost by that time, of producing the traditional figures from Estremoz called "Bonecos de Estremoz". My mother, Maria Luisa da Conceição, was one of the main ceramists who produced these traditional local figures and that most contributed to its disclosure.
From my early years I have learned the techniques and the art of modelling clay. I kept producing figures, while studying Engineering, until the age of 21. In my youth I have participated in several group exhibitions in Portugal. Although I hadn’t any business purpose, I sold some works to private collectors and to the Municipal Museum of Estremoz. When I completed my degree in Engineering I started a professional career in Consulting and for 25 years I interrupted my work in ceramics.
In late 2012 I left the consulting business and at last I’ve decided to dedicate myself to the development of my ceramist profile.
Since 2013 I work exclusively in ceramics in my studio located in Lisbon. The figures I make are in polychrome terracotta using the techniques of figurative ceramic from Estremoz drawing inspiration not only in the traditional local figures but also from other areas of European art.
Since then I have participated in several group exhibitions and I have presented my first solo exhibition in January 2014. In July 2014 I participated for the first time at the International Fair of Lisbon Crafts (FIA 2014) and was awarded the 1st Prize in the Traditional Craft contest.