María de la Lastra
At her home/studio in Madrid, Spain.
Surrounded by endless cases of tools of all shapes and sizes, and alongside brushes and paints of the most attractive colors, lies María’s latest artistic endeavor. Her elegant fans have recently become an obsession, and when you look at any of her exquisite pieces up close, you begin to realize what a talented artist she is. Made from scratch - both in fine wood and silk - the elements that comprise each one have a story in themselves. Colorful, playful, and certainly pretty, those who are lucky enough to have a chance to hold them, will be drawn in by the soft touch of these precisely rendered objects.
María has been an expert in furniture restoration for some time, having taught and even written books on the subject. This discipline has made her a master in dealing with all kinds of grassroots materials. Gold leaf, wood and bone are regularly present in many of the antiques she has restored. Throughout her personal journey, she has come across talented artisans who do similar work, and her collaborative spirit has certainly brought about some very interesting projects.
Since I was a little girl, I was always enchanted when entering María’s world. Her colorful universe was dreamlike, and she was always able to mix the most extraordinary hues, which were definitely not to be found among regular color swatches. The paintings that hang on her walls transport you to far away times and places, and all coexist in an eclectic, yet elegant way. Traveling from Africa to India, and always past Turket, the exotic nature of her travels always comes home with her.
I will never forget the mosquito net that hung for years over her bed in Pollença. Its violet blue color found a magical place in my childhood dreams, and is still indelibly etched in my memory. Since then, many changes have occurred in her workspace, as she has constantly adapted to the flow of her creative mind. As a grown-up now, I am still intrigued by her free artistic spirit, and admire those talented hands as they apply themselves to every project she takes on.