History of the local Crafts
In the tradition and in the ancestral customs lies the charm of a world full of images and the most varied technologies. The Andújar that we see today is the result of a long trajectory of centuries and even of millennia and it is thanks to the vestiges of that craftsmanship, of those manufactured products, those that have helped us to date and to know about an activity of a society with their way of being and thinking. The intelligence of man has made him lose instinct with the advances and technology, and it is there in those tools of craftsmanship where we find a little pure and intuitive man.
In 1862, the Danish writer Hans Christian Andersen went through Andujar in diligence on his way from Cordoba to Santa Cruz de Mudela to continue by rail to Madrid, and left us a very specific and accurate view of our city to observe "their stores and crowd of people through the streets ", which indicates a commercial and fussing activity. During those years and up to the fifties of the 20th century, Andujar had remained very faithful to its tradition and craftsmanship with its cobbled streets, its facades and lime courtyards, geraniums and aspidistras, with the belfries of convents and towers of the churches standing out for their horizontal houses covered with Arab tiles. Streets and hillocks dotted with houses with cobblestone facades with noble architectural elements and heralds absent from the hallways. All the houses had their water well. In the urban plot there were streets like Zapateros, Ollerias, Naranjos, Juderia, Tintoreros, Hornos, Mesones, Silera, Talabarte, Alhondiga, Peso de la Harina, del Truco, Ballesteros, Chorrillo, Carniceria, Maestra, Comedias y Postigos, los Sastres, etc, leaving some in the current street map.
Linked to the clay soil on the Guadalquivir, the craftsmanship of Pottery and Ceramics stands out. In addition, also very important, due to its functionality and for a time its great activity, highlight the packsaddle making, Saddlery, Skin, as well as the Forge of the blacksmiths to cover decently windows, doors, chapels and wells with their bars, gates and curbs Of great importance also, due to the proximity to the Sierra and its livestock and hunting activities, Taxidermy and Wax have been traditionally worked for Lenten candles. Needs and artistic intuition has created new forms of expression such as Stained Glass and Dry Flowers to create an environment. The most innovative combining world and leisure, is the manufacture of sailboats for the nautical activity.
The ceramics Already in the 5th century a.C. Iberian-Roman ceramics were exported to the whole empire of Rome.
The packsaddle making It is still used in the rigging of the horses during the Pligrimage.
Taxidermy, tanning and leather goods The many huntings of our Sierra Morena favors this industry.
Iron work and foundry The public and private buildings of Andújar have been adorned with bars for centuries.
Guitars The guitars preferred by the best concert players in the world are made in Andújar.
Cherry, honey and other products derived from beekeeping Candles and tapers for Easter throughout Andalusia.
Tiles Decoration on very flat tiles or bricks with a majolica surface, painted and baked.
Navigation NAUTIEGO has achieved an important place in the recreational sailing market, rivaling with the French one.
Tailoring and flamenco dresses We are one of the Andalusian cities in which flamenco fashion arouses more interest.
Embroidery in gold It is an art that consists in the ornamentation of a flexible surface by means of textile threads.
Crafts of the anea Seats of chairs and armchairs, activity that is combined with that of esparto and wicker.
If any activity has a greater antiquity in this city, that is the pottery and ceramics. Already from the ovens of "terra sigilata", with the characteristic red color, from the old Isturgi (Los Villares de Andujar), a Iberian-Roman town from the 5th century a.C., its pieces were exported to the whole empire of Rome.
Later, with the Arab presence, the pottery produced botijos, jugs and other containers very appreciated to keep the water cold in summer, due to the extreme thinness of its white clay. Also begin to manufacture glazed ceramics green and yellow. As for the tiles, this is an important production center in the fifteenth century, becoming used in the decoration of the Alhambra.
Consequently, centuries later - in the seventeenth in particular - the city had numerous ovens congregated in the town center, causing discomfort derived from smoke, before which the City Council decided to force the artisans to move to the outskirts of Andujar.
During the 18th century, this town will be the main production center of Jaen, favored by its geographical location on the Madrid-Cadiz royal road. The potters will export to the capital of the kingdom and to many other places; but, in general, the lack of investment, the old tools and the limited technical ability prevented taking advantage of the opportunity of the moment.
The most popular pieces are: the varied jars, highlighting the grutesca, named for its ornate and rich decoration; miniatures, small pieces of about 2 cm, tile and hedgehog botijo, oil pan, grocers and in particular the traditional "whistles" of the Pilgrimage of the Virgen de la Cabeza.
It has been done since the end of 16th century. Its name is given by the capricious decoration based on conjugate flowers, leaves, human figurines, geometric elements... all linked together forming a group (grutesco). It is formed by three or four overlapping bodies, the base being the pedestal on which the main one is attached, which is a jar itself, closing the whole lid on a conical body is topped by a winged human figurine. Between this body and the previous one, another smaller jars can appear. Its decoration is an alternation of handles, little pinnacles, flowers and human figurines, alternating in groups of four. The white background and decoration in blue. As for its functionality, it must be related to obtaining a sugary drink with aromatic essences. Nowadays, its exclusive use is decoration.
Called thus, popularly, for having more head than body. It is a very elegant piece with the typical decoration alluded to in the Grutesca, but simpler, drawing attention to its wavy wide mouth.
Unusual vessel for water whose body is like an elongated pear with a wide mouth, appearing in its upper part a mouthpiece in the shape of a drinking spout. The set completes an artistic three-body handle with little pinnacles.
Botijo or Porrón of hedgehog
Very original piece to have all over his body salient scales that fill the whole. Its handle is three bodies.
Called thus for not being able to contact the mouth neither with the spout to drink nor with the mouth of filling, falling the water by whom tries it.
Very popular court rider, who had in 1808 its revaluation to be used to whistle to the French troops after the defeat in Bailén. Hence, the rider wears a Phrygian cap alluding to the French Republic. Time and popular imagination have made new types appear as picador, garrochista, torerito, etc. We must highlight its polychrome wealth.
Handcrafted in baked clay. It is a popular musical instrument known since the seventeenth century in the Pilgrimage of the Virgen de la Cabeza. They are a curiosity. They are made with the potter's fingers that give shape to a hollow belly, having at one end the mouth to blow and at the other a small handle. Of varied size, the small ones appear in bunches, very common and ancestral they are united to the bustle of the celebration.
The vinegar pot and the oil pan are other pieces of traditional ceramics, as well as dishes and other objects for commercial needs. The Albarelos or pharmacy jars were very rich and showy.
The packsaddle making
The packsaddle making, related to the rigging of the horses, has been reduced to the manufacture of the equipment used to decorate the mules and donkeys in the pilgrimage, because these animals have practically ceased to be used. Pieces as peculiar as the hackamore, packsaddle, pretal chest, saddlebags, harness, Surcingle and jarma are made by local artisans.
Taxidermy, tanning and leather goods
In front of the numerous huntings that are celebrated in our Sierra Morena, taxidermy and tannery arose: heads of deer and wild boar, apart from other pieces of small game, are treated for conservation as trophies by monteros. It also happens with the skins, very appreciated for carpets.
Also in relation to this hunting activity we have the leather goods, with objects like the decorated zahones, backpacks and infinity of other useful ones whose base is the leather; although antlers, fangs and hooves are used even in bug game.
Iron work and casting
We know that iron work was important in the 16th century, as public and private buildings give proof of this. From that moment of splendor there is a good example of bars in the churches of Andujar, in addition to the one that exists in the National Archaeological Museum, a window grille of the palatial-home the Cardenas. At that time and due to the great demand, they set up their residence and their workshop, here in Andujar, the heirs of Maestro Bartolome de Salamanca, his nephews Bartolome, Juan Rodriguez and Alonso de Morales.
The Iron is worked in a direct way when beating it in hot on the anvil with the hammer - forged -, chiseling in cold to obtain details of modeling of great merit. It is used for the manufacture of bars, gates, locks, railings, etc.
Today we have received an iron craft in a decorative forge in relation to a very varied functionality and an attractive design. The workshops have greatly reduced their number, and those that remain use prefabricated pieces in their work. The casting by traditional method is done starting from a template and from there the other copies are taken out.
The guitars preferred by the best concertists in the world are made in this town.
If there is something that symbolizes the spirit of the south, it is the elegant and sensual form of the Spanish guitar. Andalusia was the cradle of the guitar, a direct descendant of the vihuela, an Andalusian instrument with four strings. A good quality guitar is a great souvenir for the visitor with musical concerns, as well as for the true connoisseur who looks for the best, the "black leg" of the guitars.
Andalusia has a handful of master craftsmen who enjoy well-deserved fame among the experts. In Andujar, there are two of the best producers of musical instruments, Javier Cayuela and José Rodríguez Peña, moving the latter his workshop to Córdoba.
Cherry, honey and other derivatives of beekeeping
The chandlery destined to the brotherhoods of Easter of Andalusia, especially with candles and tapers, has its representatives in Andujar. We can even talk about crafts when we refer to honey, despite its majority industrialization.
In Andujar there are two workshops dedicated to the skill of the manufacture of candles. The Bellido family started making candles in 1890 and still today they continue with this artisan task. They produce candles throughout the year for their main clients, churches and especially for the brotherhoods of Easter. Its products are widely sold throughout Andalusia and go beyond it.
Both use the traditional method of making candles, which is done in a tub. It consists of immersing the wicks in the molten wax to form the candles, according to the required lengths.
The mountain range of Andujar has a large census of beehives, occupying the second place of honey production in Andalusia.
In relation to ceramics, there exists in our city the modality of painting on tiles or very flat bricks with a majolica surface, on which it is painted to cook next.
They are the so-called ceramic painters who are dedicated to this art. Since the end of the 19th century was very important the signature "Iliturgi SA", popularly known as the Barrero, located first in the street of the Serpent, taking advantage of the space left by the Convent of Carmen after the confiscation, and subsequently, transferred to the path of the Quemadero, a few kilometers north of the city.
NAUTIEGO joins the industrial artisan scene in 1995 and in a short time has achieved an important place in the market and enter into rivalry with French. His sailboats have got some great critics in the international nautical salons of Barcelona or Paris. The "NAUTIGO 260" is its sailboat models, where design, safety, elegance and marine sports sense are conjured.
Tailoring and flamenco dresses
Andujar, for its Pilgrimage of the Virgen de la Cabeza of National Tourist Interest, is one of the Andalusian cities in which flamenco fashion awakens greater interest and demand.
If we look for the roots of this craft tradition, we find that Andujar had a street dedicated to this "Los Sastres" trade union activity, coinciding with the first section of the current Ollerias street.
In this epoch it is necessary to emphasize the confection of the short rural suit linked to the agricultural and cattle activity. Today, the image of rosemary costume is formed by a guayabera or jacket with band, button and without flaps: on shirt short vest with round neckline or beak; calzona or pants with caireles of round leg with white return in their low ones, without slit, subjects by means of braces of bottonadura with scarf to the waist. As complementary clothes for the head, the sugarcane hat, with a conical crown and wide brim, and the Marseille hat for the cold, a very elegant short garment, are typical. Another complement is the zahones or front, calf leather, used to ride exclusively on horseback. As footwear the traditional campero boto is used.
The origin of the female attire dates back to the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, when the vendors came to the fair with cattle dealers dressed in modest percale robes adorned with ruffles. Next, the wealthy classes copied the dress of the rural workers. From then on, the suit was established as the official dress to attend the event, a tradition that has remained until today.
The flamenco dress has not remained unchanged over time, but has undergone changes according to the fashion of each era, even each year. Thus, in the 60s and 70s of the last century, driven by the economic boom in Spain, its dimensions were shortened to the middle leg or knee. From the 70s, the suit returns to its traditional length covering the leg up to the ankles.
Currently, there is a wide variety of flamenco dress designs developed for both women and girls. Thus, they are made in various colors, whether plain or printed, with short or long sleeves, more or less overloaded with ruffles. This folk costume has inspired many Spanish and international designers.
The designs of flamenco dresses are exhibited during the celebration of the "Andújar Flamenca Catwalk", annual contest that takes place at the beginning of the month of March every year in Andújar. For three days the creations of both established designers and new fashion talents are shown.
Embroidery is an art that consists of the decoration of a flexible surface by means of textile threads. The threads used in embroidery are the same as those used for weaving, but above all silk, wool and linen, all with different colors, highlighting those of silver and gold, with the different shapes that are adopted in weaving.
The process of embroidery in the works for the Brotherhoods begins, first, making a drawing in color indicating the parts in silk and gold, and then transferring that drawing to the required scale, on a thin paper that would allow it to be outlined on the canvas.
Then, on a rectangular frame, the embroidery is done with natural silks of different origin, and once finished, it is decorated and sticks to the festoon on the velvet.
The gold embroidery is filled with cotton and embroidered with gold using different shades: bright, matte or briscado, embroidering on the canvas and festooning it around to finally move the velvet.
The embroidery hardly differs from that of other regions, since in terms of its technique, it adheres to the fashions of each historical moment. For example, embroidery in gold and silver highlights the superimposed embroidery, which is still used.
Superimposed embroidery consists of applying to the bottom of a certain base pieces made separately, usually on canvas, which are then cut out in different shapes and embroidered with gold threads through small yellow silk stitches, which are the ones that really go through the base fabric.
In addition to the superimposed embroidery, the application embroidery also stands out, based on cutting out the ornamental motifs that are then sewn to the bottoms by means of stitches that hold and outline them.
El más lucido es el bordado en policromíade sedas, en el que la hebra de seda atraviesa repetidas veces el tejido base.
The crafts of the Anea are in charge of making chairs and armchairs, an activity that was combined with that of esparto and wicker. The artisan inherits the office of his family, his parents and grandparents. Pick up the line (typhus plant of sheathing and ensiform leaves) on the banks of the Guadalquivir, Yeguas, Jandula or Rumblar, all nearby rivers, reaping it in summer, cleaning it, and grouped in sheaves, bundles about two meters in length, having it than spray it - give it moisture - so it does not lose its elasticity.
The hands, a small stick of about 15 cm and a touch of mastery, they are enough to carry out this task, give the corresponding grown-up to the seat -according to who needs it- and leave a job well done.