VIDEO

             
  25-02-2016  

"You on TV" TVI portuguese television program with Cristina Ferreira and Manuel Luis Goucha presents the reportage "the People Stories": The art of woodwork and marquetry

From the reportage:

Cristina Ferreira
It is Mr. Canhoto who is a right man.

Manuel Luís Goucha
Yes he is

Master Firmino Canhoto
The work is all manual, look it is all done as it was done in the old days.

I was born in a small village in Portugal, Beira Alta, Aveloso Meda Guarda District. My father was John Canhoto and he was a miller and my mother was a baker, for this reason and in time of famine I and my 14 brothers never went hungry. Because potatoes and bread, my father was also a farmer, never lacked in our table.

My father put me to learn at a carpenter's workshop, which at the time, in the 50s was a privilege a boy going to learn a profession. My father paid on that occasion three escudos a week so I could go learn. At that time paying to learn a trade was normal. At some point I began to realize that my master did wonderful things with inlaid and carved wood, I began to like what he did and liking this profession. Called ebanista, and you now wonder what is ebanista? Ebanista is joiner's art, the joiners that worked for the court, for the Royal House.

I was forced to go overseas, as militar, and is well said that I was forced, was not by free will. Once there, as always I enjoyed theater and music, I founded a group of traditional Portuguese music and a theater group. I returned to Portugal after my wife that was my godmother of war who wrote me letters, aerograms were not letters. One day I went to my homeland and I asked for the hand of my wife in marriage, to her father. We came to Monte da Caparica village where I set up my workshop and after Monte da Caparica we came first to Aboboreira, which is a tiny little village of millers, after Aboboreira we came to Livramento, Mafra, where we set up this workshop.

The first challenge that was made to me was my teacher who asked me to do this bench where I am sitting now. Called Mocho Bank that is used in joinery, banks that are very useful for us. I never imagined that starting to make an Mocho bank today I could have my work dispersed, I will not say all over the world, but throughout Europe. The biggest challenge that has been laid, was about five months ago, is this secretary here, this desk.

João Canhoto
It is a desk which has the façade of Mafra's Palace on top, has several drawers and several secrets. Because our Atelier, comes from my father, is also known by the Atelier of secrets. Without having resort to handles I will be able to open these drawers. A detail, all these woods, in particular, all the interiors of the drawers are made of sandalwood, a fragrant wood and perfumes everything you put in there, it will never lose this perfume.

Master Firmino Canhoto
My children started here in the great summer vacation, they did not walk on the streets, I paid them a salary and they came to work here.

Carla Canhoto
Imagine the eyes of a child that sees stories being born in the embedded wood, the marquetry. Stories of Kings, Princesses, Queens, it was fascinating, it was a passion, it was a normal super thing to follow.

João Canhoto
We decided to embrace this profession, me and my sister because we consider it the most beautiful art of wood working.

Master Firmino Canhoto
What we do here today is pure luxury. My father always said, "quickly and well, ther is no one" and my teacher said "well done, good looks" and if good looks feels well done and if I'm doing this piece or other they will last a lifetime. Lifelong because we use the best woods, all the best materials and this will live all lives. I feel very proud today knowing that in 100, 200 years someone will see the signature Canhotoon the back of our artistic furniture.

I started on the stage with 7 years in my homeland Aveloso. I founded the Theatre Group The Awesome of Aboboreira in 1968, lasted 43 years, I was director, actor, wrote texts, I've never been in the ticket house but did everything else there. After that music is my passion, I founded several things, the last two I have, which I founded recently was the Senior University of Mafra and have my dear group of West Cavaquinhos. I play 16 instruments and taught myself, maybe those who like most is the Concertina, the Ukulele and Banjo, Banjo, Banjo.

Making a total balance sheet of my life was super positive, thanks to my friends, family, to the profession that I have, it was very good ... and I want to continue with this for many years.

Manuel Luís Goucha
That to me is Portugal at its best

Cristina Ferreira
It is close to my house...

Manuel Luís Goucha
And it is true and it is also close from mine ... Congratulations to this family Canhoto family, artists in the art of woodwork and marquetry

Cristina Ferreira
There are so manu great people.

Manuel Luís Goucha
Congratulations to this family.

Cristina Ferreira
An aplause.