culture, history, photography, technical, travel, world

Visiting an olive soap manufature

610_7743_wToday, I have another craftsman for you: a soap maker. He produces soap from olive oil following a traditional receipt. As he told us, ones there were many of them on Corfu and everywhere in Greece. He told us, he is the last one on Corfu and there were only 5 more in Greece. What a pity.

He explained the whole process of making the green olive soap for the body, the more sensitive soap for the face and the (white) curt soap for washing the clothes.

The small soap tower in front of him are soap bars from different age. The lowest one is a fresh bar and every next level above is an additional month older compared to the level below. Do you see, how the structure and the color changes? In the gallery blow, there is an image of the whole tower, where you can see it much better. The bar on top of the tower is a cut-through-bar, so that you can see the inner parts. You can see, in the middle the bar is still green and not ripe to be used. A fresh bar of olive oil soap can’t be used. It has to ripe for at least half a year.

In the image above, you can also see two of his tools: the hammer to stamp his seal in each bar in the right and in the left a tool to cut the whole soap plate in smaller pieces. Both of them are also in the gallery below in detail. The cooked hot soap is poured in the rectangular flat mould. After cooling down for some time, the hammer prints the seal in each future bar and then is is cut in pieces. He has to wait for the right moment. If he waits too long, the soap is too brittle and might break. Behind him to the right you can see one storage shelf for the rising process. These shelves are also in the gallery a little bigger.

In the gallery you can also find images of his shop and how the soap is sold.

Stay tuned!

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art, culture, history, landscape, nature, photography, travel, world

Visiting a wood workshop

 

610_7803_wIn many places you can see displays standing in the streets giving direction to the workshops of craftsmen and artisans working with olive wood.

They are producing a great variety of products from the olive wood: i.e. bowls, honey spoons, salat servers, barbecue tongs, plates and many more things for the kitchen. You can also buy some toys or a chess game. Or, even some thinks for decorating your house.

The final parts are polished and oiled with olive oil. You have to apply some oil every now and then, when the wood becomes gray and blunt.

Stay tuned!

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culture, meeting, people, photography, technic, travel, world

Visiting a humidor manufactury

600_7581-sc_wTobacco is very important in Cuba, especially in the north. Not only you find big tobacco patches and cigar manufactories, you can also find workshops, where they build those boxes for storing cigars in optimal conditions, with regard on humidity and temperature. All the cigar and humidor factories are operated by the government. All? No, a few manufactories are already private owned and operated by tobacco farmers (producing cigars) and carpenters (making humidors).

You can visit both, cigar and humidor factories and see people assembling cigars respectively cutting the wood for humidors. But, as in all government operated factories a visitor is forbidden to bring any kind of bag (even not a lady’s handbag) or a camera. On the other hand, when visiting a tobacco farmer or a craftsman, you can ask for permission, as I did.

In case, you think of a humidor of being a simple box made of cheap woods or card box to sell the cigars, so you are wrong. Storing cigars and keep them in good shape is really complicated and need a lot of specific knowledge.

Here you can see, some of the wonderful humidors. They are made of wood from cedar trees, which is best for keeping the right humidity inside the box. More luxurious boxes even have hygrometer for metering the humidity inside the box. In case the humidity is too high, the cigars would begin fouling. Is it too low, they’d drying out. Both conditions are bad, if you want to smoke them.

In the gallery you can not only see many more humidors, you can also have a look inside the workshop.

Have fun and take care!

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