José Vieira, an artisan from the Portuguese city of São Torcato, owns a tinsmithing workshop in Guimarães and makes everything by hand, working with galvanised tin, copper and brass. He grew up in a family with a long tradition of manufacturing tin products, mostly for agriculture and rural purposes. It was his grandfather and his father who introduced young José to the art of tinsmithing. Though following in the footsteps of his ancestors, José has developed a more modern production of goods for daily use, with a focus on shape and functionality. The project developed with designer Christian Haas goes in this direction. The three tables called Pleat, all in polished brass, demanded exceptional mastery of bending and welding.
Born in Germany but living in Portugal, Christian Haas found it stimulating to collaborate with José, one of the few tinsmiths left in the country. Always pursuing an aesthetic that focuses on simplicity and elegance, driven by the harmony between sobriety, usefulness, emotion, longevity and uniqueness, Haas has been honoured with international awards and is acknowledged for his successful tableware. “It is always interesting to design in a new material and to discover new ways of solving production problems: in our case, being introduced to the techniques of tinsmithing,” he says. “Detail and structural issues that could not be solved on paper, but needed the expertise of a craftsman specialised in his field.”