20 Feb 2013

A walk around the creative workshops of Athens part 1

ελληνικό κείμενο 

Last week I learned about the existence of two very interesting groups of people: Alternative Tours of Athens and by local Athens.

ATA is organizing tours of special interest such as architecture, photography, biking etc. in order to help you know the real Athens and discover its hidden treasures. If you are not the type of visitor that will be satisfied with merely the usual sightseeing tour or if you live here but feel that there is still much to learn about your own city, ATA are your people.

By local Athens is a community of independent designers that live and work in Athens, who joinend forces to support each other in this difficult economic situation the country is in and to promote the unique handmade things they create.

The two of them together offered us a very pleasant and interesting Saturday afternoon, by taking us for a walk around Makriyianni, an old neighborhood of Athens, under the Acropolis and next to the beautiful and touristic Plaka, where lately an artistic and creative wind is blowing. I enjoyed very much this walk because I met some very creative people and their beautiful spaces and stole a bit of their positive attitude.

Our first stop was Tintinnabulum (meaning small bell in latin). I have read about it before on the internet but was very happy to visit myself. Athena Drakopoulou found this old woodcarver's workshop, which is part of a 1930s building, deserted and in bad situation and after months of personal work she transformed it into a magical place, where she sells her handmade home decor items and jewelry.

Did you notice all these holes on the wall? Athena found hundreds of nails as the previous owners used them to hang anything they wanted to have handy. It took her months to take them off and she is not sure she is finished yet.

The next stop was at Fabrika, where Evridiki Tsistraki runs her shop and also has her small workspace. I know Evridiki from Etsy's greek team and we met in a couple of craft fairs in the past. She makes jewelry like this gorgeous ring I have myself, mainly from silver but she also carries various artifacts by other greek designers. You can find Evridiki's jewelry online here.

What a creative way to display what's for sale! An old marble sink (three people were needed to lift it) on a base made of pipes and coasters.

In the shop window a door which was not altered at all hosts some other artifacts.

We didn't have to walk long, Psit is right next door. Katrerina Stamati showed us how she makes the dots and other patterns on her enamel jewelry which is the cutest.

She kindly let us open her drawers to see butterflies and dragonflies, teapots and cups and various others shapes in bright colors.

This piece of furniture belonged to Katerina's grandmother but she had the drawers custom made. Pretty cool, don't you think?

To be continued...


Anna said...

ευχαριστω πολυ για όλες τις πληροφοριες! πολυ ενδιαφερον ! να εισαι καλα! Αννε

Μπομπότη Αρετή said...

Πολυ ωραιο το blog σου! Χαιρομαι που σε συναντησα! Φιλια πολλα απ' την Ελλαδα!