We all love getting to know the people behind the work, what inspires them and what drives their business. Today we hear from Daniela Medonca of Producoes Coracao.
1. Please can you tell us a little bit about yourself, and what drew you to your chosen craft?
I'm Daniela Mendonca, I live in Portugal - in the area of Aveiro, I work as a secretary in a public service (yes! It's boring) and I spend my leisure time crafting.
Since ever that creation and art attract me. I studied painting for seven years with a local artist, but I give up because the materials are expensive and sometimes difficult to find where I live. So, I start thinking on an alternative but it was a long and difficult process because I like a lot of different things - painting, sewing, knitting, decorating, etc.
My achievement was to make something with ecological and cheaper materials, that were easier to find. Something decorative, but useful at the same time. So, after many attempts, my baskets were born.
2: Who taught you how to do your craft, and how long have you been creating?
I never had a "teacher" in craft. I grew up in the field, between farm animals. I don't have brothers and never had many toys, so me and my cousins we played with something - the mud cakes were the favorites. Only in school, I learnt some simple things. Basically I learnt making crafts with my curiosity. And maybe because I grew up watching people doing things. Like my grandmother, that made bread at home, my mother made skirts (I learned to sew and knit with her), my grandfather had a lumber mill and he made little toys for his grandchildren, my father always tried to fix something.
I started working on my baskets 2 years ago.
3: How would you describe your style? Are there any crafters/artists/designers that you particularly look up to?
I like simple things. My style is simple and clean, with some fantasy and a little humor. I created my objects to be useful, ecological and durable.
I like the universe of Rafael Bordalo Pinheiro, a Portuguese artist, one of the best Portuguese artists in ceramics, born 165 years ago, and Patricia Urquiola in design and decoration. I follow some blogs like Sweet Paul Magazine, Bloesem Blog and Rodrigo Barba Blog (a Brazilian journalist).
4: Where do you seek inspiration from?
My inspiration comes from nature and from all that surrounds me. I like to see the work of others, read magazines, but most of the time the ideas come to me, and I can't explain how this happens, it's intuition maybe....
5: What are you focused on right now?
Right now I'm focused on creating baskets with even more fantasy and started testing other future products with the same materials that I'm working with (sisal rope and raffia), and of course show them to the world through my store on Etsy and other resources i have start to explore, like facebook, etc.
6: What are your can't-live-without craft-room essentials?
In my craft-room there is always music, raffia, sisal rope, my special needle to sew, scissors and my notebook.
7: How do you combat creative blocks?
The better description (in my case) is to do something quite different from the usual, like sleep and relax. Specifically don't stress thinking about it, because I always have ideas stored in my notebook!
8: Why should people buy handmade?
Buying handmade is very important because with that you are helping someone directly, economically and giving also to that person self-esteme. You are contributing directly to the happiness of someone. All crafters love what they do!
You are contributing to the local development. It humanizes more the economy, because we all know that many things sold around the world are made without respecting the laboral and human rights, and the environment.
Handicraft can change someones life especially women in small communities, for example, if you can't find a job.
9: Anything else you would like to share and where can we find you?
You can find Daniela Medonca and her wonderful creations at
I would like to thank Daniela Medonca for taking the time to write this wonderful interview and give us an insight into her world!
Clare Martin - DreamDifferently