Raquel and João, the couple behind Arminho, are a creative force to be reckoned with.
As talented knitters, potters, and printmakers, they fill their shop with prints, notebooks, bags, and other beautiful items. The Portuguese duo clearly know how to pull together a great selection of products for their own shop, and we couldn’t wait to get a closer look at their process.
What’s your partnership like? Do you each have certain roles or tasks, or is everything a collaboration?
No, we are very organic in our approach at work, we don’t have timetables or schedules, neither roles or tasks, but we naturally fall into doing what each of us is better at. Because we work at home, we’re able to adapt the work to our needs, sometimes we take a break and take care of the garden and sometimes we do work marathons, this is very important for us, this way we feel that we own our time and freedom.
You have several different types of products in your shop, but every item feels like it belongs. How do you develop new products, and how do you know that they fit with your existing items?
We don’t think very much about that, it just happens! Maybe it’s because they’re always made us, so they’re part of the same inspiration and visual culture. We’re also responsible for every step of the process. We not only design and produce them, but also do all the behind-the-scenes work - we take the pictures, write the text and marketing, and package and ship each order.
You live in Porto, Portugal - what’s the artist community like there?
We are a sort of outsiders - our studio and home are our little cocoon, so we don’t feel like we belong to a local community. We do have a sense that we belong to a larger group of people and community that gained much more visibility in the past few years. The world gives much more attention to crafts now, but that feeling is much more global than local.
Where do you find inspiration?
In everything! Our nature-filled childhood, the books that we read, the movies that we see, the news on TV, a piece of fabric, a plant - everything inspires us to create the objects that we make.
You can find Raquel and João’s products in their Big Cartel store.