His work is an inspiring process where every Emotional Object has a meaningful story.
Starting each piece with a sketch, Joao finds inspiration from the most unusual things around him – a fabric, a boat or a car, or only a memory. After he has an idea and explores it in his mind, an extensive search is done by his team to find out if the object is original. If not, he abandons it. Joao believes that good products are timeless and loves simple and balanced designs. Not all get the honor of being called Emotional Objects. To be one, a strong impression must happen to people. Many ideas were left behind because they weren´t bold enough or someone thought of something similar before. But, if it is original, then the magic starts.
Sometimes influenced by any particular music (Joao has an eye for spotting musical treasures before they became known), he put on his headphones and listen to it loudly and so absorbed as if no one or nothing else exists. Many objects or collections have its special music, that plays over and over during the design process.
With the drawings finished, he moves his attention to the “Lab” (the nickname we gave to his workplace) and tirelessly solves all the problems and technical issues to make the prototypes. It´s not unusual to see him taking some time (sometimes, years) to think and mature about the pieces he has in progress. Sometimes, it takes something to happen to solve an ancient Emotional Object; Iris took four years and Lazy Day more, for example.
Using mostly wood and metal, stainless steel, brass and copper became his materials, but wood is in his blood. He prefers natural processes that are safer and allow the wood to mature beautifully over time. Joao always selects the veneers himself and founds profound beauty in its natural imperfections full of character. Due to these variations, there aren´t two objects exactly alike. Nevertheless, is exciting seeing his pieces come to life in his hands in a dynamic interplay of forms and surfaces. Many times, he has to come back to the drawings to perfect the object. Making each prototype by hand himself, he works on one piece at a time to achieve a singular focus and great attention to details.
Over the years, Joao has been developing and cultivating relationships with artisans and master craftsman in his home town – Vila Nova de Famalicao, near Porto – in Portugal. These are the ones he trusts the manufacturing of specific parts of his pieces. By empowering and collaborating with all them, he brings new methods and materials to create unique, contemporary designs that celebrate ancient traditions. He is always discovering, developing, learning and fusing traditional with modern techniques and perfecting Emotional Objects’ methods, sometimes with trial and error.
Made to last for generations, the distinction between functional and fine art is not easy to find in his work. But, most important, he only makes pieces that he would want for himself.