We invite designers to work with the FRESS master craftsman in 18 different workshops leading to an exhibition at the end of the year at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Lisbon.



  • Mid-career designers with over 8 years of experience.

  • Interested in experimenting and revisioning traditional techniques.

  • Dedicated to design quality and sophistication in the creation of their designs.



The Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva Foundation was founded in 1953 as the result of the donation of the Azurara Palace and a decorative arts museum collection by Ricardo do Espírito Santo Silva.

Its mission is the safeguarding, promotion, dissemination and transmission of the art of know-how in the decorative arts and related crafts, through workshops, education, conservation and restoration and the Museum.

The specialised and creative workmanship of their workshops forms part of the Portuguese century-old intangible heritage which is gradually disappearing but which the Foundation keeps alive and has been wisely transmitting over the years. Making FRESS a national reference.

The FRESS workshops are thus, on the one hand a real living museum, where masters and students ensure the continuity of traditional techniques and knowledge of raw materials. On the other hand it is a space for intergenerational apprenticeship that allows for a dialogue with artists and designers with a vision to a new and necessary approach to contemporaneity.



Emmanuel Babled with Pedro Doria and David Cruz

With: Carlos Ferreira, Luis Figueiredo, Luis Gomes, Luciano Silveira, Cristina Santos, Orlando Tavares 

Production coordination: Jorge Fonte

Beverly was born out of the collaboration with the Portuguese foundation FRESS - which protects and promotes Portuguese decorative arts and handicrafts.

Handcrafted from different woods, including brown smoked oak, walnut, zebrano and palisander, this organic chest features a hand-carved unique surface design and suggests a mystery to be solved.

The chest has no front or back, no openings or visible handles, no planed surfaces: an invitation to discover and experience its shape. The mystery will eventually be solved, to include a further hidden storage compartment behind two cabinet doors. The two polished copper plates on the side create the illusion of spaciousness, depth and infinity. Four fine legs made of copper give this cabinet a fresh and sleek look. 

BEVERLY is available in additional styles, sizes and finishes.



Marre Moerel and Miguel Alonso

With: Pedro Dória, Luciano Sequeira, António Almeida, Cristina Santos, Orlando Tavares

Production coordination: Jorge Fonte

A hung sculpture in space as an identity beyond the function. La Graça was Inspired by the enormous wooden carved candleholder in the Graça church in Lisbon. Taking a single detail of the immaculately carved candelabra to celebrate the master carving technique and craftsmanship, while at the same time addressing religion and the repression of old hierarchy of politics with contemporary minimalism.

Shining a light on the beautiful craft illuminating and highlighting from within by simple subtle lighting, marrying old techniques with new LED technologies.


La Gardienne

Marre Moerel and Beatriz Canha

With: António Almeida, Ivo Ferreira e Clara Sales

Production coordination: Jorge Fonte

Leather carved table lamp. The idea was to merge old and new traditions, using the ancient technique of leather carving, marrying decorative patterns with a more minimalist overall design.

Using leather as a structural material itself. Celebrating the inherent beauty of this raw material and low-tech highly skilled craftsmanship, reflecting Marre's convictions that contemporary high-tech inventions /techniques are not necessary to be innovative. The form was derived as a tribute to the universal cone shape, based on the symbols of protective entities for human kind seen in nuns, priests, druids, healers, pyramids and the duality therein. Marrying minimalism with baroque exuberance, both universal elements.

Merging this traditional language with Marre's personal world, the birds are her Diamond Gould birds that fly free in her studio and some of the carvings in the front depict her family crest dating back to the 1500s.



CAMA DE ÓPIO - Opium Bed

Marco Sousa Santos with Teresa Romão and Beatriz Canha

With: Hugo Cardoso, Luís Gomes, Porfírio Pereira

Production coordination: Jorge Fonte

The Opium Bed is an elegy for contemplation.

As a representation of a bed, with no apparent comfort, the smooth curve of the surface provides the necessary ergonomics for a "contemplative" bed.

With or without the use of artificial stimuli, in Opium's bed we forget our bodies and "paradise" feeds on our spirituality.

Made of a metal lacquered iron frame and hand pressed leather interlaced strips. 



Marco Sousa Santos with Beatriz Canha

Production coordination: Jorge Fonte

A standard chair for the seaside, a reinvention of a classic with a contemporary approach. It is not collapsible but it is pliable.

Around the old drawings of leather pressed seatings traditionally made by traditional artisans, the designer and the master explored different style drawings, from a family Canon or from a brand to decorative signs of flowers and animals. The contrast between the decorative drawings with a contemporary frame have proved to be stronger and effective. The work with Beatriz, gave Marco the input that he needed to switch from a geometric and graphic signs approach to a more organic one. Talking and finding the traditional and organic samples was made by both him and Beatriz and the final result is indeed a team project.



Sam Baron with António Almeida and Clara Sales

With: Paula Braz, Ivo Ferreira

Production coordination: Jorge Fonte.

The collection is made of 3 pieces, a wall mounted lamp, a floor lamp (existing also in a ceiling version) and a mirror. All of them are based on a contrast between minimal structure and ornamentation, having as mere reference the lanterns made by the latoaria workshop. Sam re-processed the same recipe as the traditional lanterns in a very contemporary way and with a subtle interaction with the light source. From a simple volume these traditional light(ing) objects become impressive, thanks to the different typologies and quantity of leaves that are applied on them. The richness and diversity of the different beautiful drawings and templates of the leaves in the FRESS collection were used as patterns to create shadows while the light objects were lit. Gold leaf is then applied on the entire piece to give uniformity to both structure and ornament, giving them a strong presence in the home where they will be placed.