Artisans

Innovators

The first innovator in the making of shell crafts was Carmen Muniz Guimarães, a collector from Piúma who started selling her material to artisan Olga Zaché. She established a new system for shell utilization that involved all the community in the production of necklaces. With the help of her sons and friends, Carmen Muniz was the first to create workshops for the production in series of objects.

The invention of new figures was one of the greatest contribution of Carmen Muniz Guimarães. She used to study the shells carefully, analyzing their natural format, color, and texture, to get inspiration for innovative pieces. She knew how to explore the natural characteristic of a shell to its maximum possibilities.

Altair Santana, “Sêo Lili”, also participated in this process, contributing to the development of the art craft. He used to make unique pieces combining shells with industrial materials, such as nylon thread and wire, and taught many people in his workshop. Today he is retired, but still teaches his craft to others, as a Master Craftsman.

These artisans were pioneers in establishing changes, creating workshops and improving the quality of production, thus developing the shell craft in this entire region. The establishment of workshops was a great turn off in this art craft, which lost its home-made characteristic appeal and became more organized, with large tables of production and selection of tasks.

Having learned from family members or in the community to work with shells, they dedicated their lives to this craft, creating new figures, making objects of utilitarian or decorative use, attracting more interest from the tourists. They invented, perfected, and spread their techniques, offered jobs, trained workmanship, allowing many people the access to a productive and sustainable occupation, from the collecting of shells to the selling of the final product, thus creating an economic opportunity tied to the development of these communities.