ARTIST INTERVIEW: Francesca de la Fuente & Maria Estrada of Pomelo
Artists: Francesca de la Fuente & Maria Estrada
Pomelo is a Spanish decor brand that makes its home here in Los Angeles. Founded by interior designer Francesca de la Fuente and stylist Maria Estrada, the line is a way for them to share their heritage and memories of growing up in Spain. Handmade in an area close to their childhood homes in Granada, the colorful ceramics in their debut collection have been a staple on dinner tables for generations. As they reminisced about these moments and wanted to make new ones for themselves and others, Pomelo was born. Today, they’re excited to curate stunning artisanal homewares that are now available outside of Europe for the very first time.
What does it mean to you to be part of the Echo Park Craft Fair?
Being included in the Echo Park Craft Fair means joining a part of a vibrant creative community that has inspired us for so long. We are honored to be part of a weekend where like-minded individuals come together to share, celebrate, and shop beautiful things, meet our neighbors, and present our first collection.
What techniques do you use to produce your designs? What is the history behind those techniques and does that inform how you use them?
Each one of our pieces is handmade by ceramicists in the highlands of Granada, Spain who have been making these very designs using the same techniques for over five centuries. We have kept two of the original color-ways, green and blue, and expanded the collection by adding yellow and coral, while keeping with the traditional designs of birds and flowers. Because the ceramics are made and painted by hand, each has a slight variation in its pattern and tells its own charming story.
The ethics of production are on are minds a lot recently – questions of sustainability, fair labour, location, and artistic integrity. How do these concepts come into play in your craft and your business? What choices do you make that take into account these ideas?
In terms of sustainability, we knew we wanted to work with craftspeople in their local workshops because of their small environmental footprint and inherent respect for natural resources. We have traveled straight to the original location and never intend to relocate them; their heritage and history is extremely valuable to our curated brand.
What impact do you hope your creative work will have on your community?
We are very proud to be the first company to curate a traditional assortment of Spanish ceramics that have never left their home before. To connect people to a style of traditional ceramics that we have treasured for so long means that the rich story will continue to be told for years to come.