Friday, December 4, 2009

Workshop for traditional weaving Nicosia, Cyprus

Julia Astreou-Christoforou, an excellent artist of weaving

A workshop/showroom/gallery is housed in a 19th century traditional building in the centre of Kaimakli beside Saint Barbara’s church.

Julia inherited an old house in Kaimakli that was once home the hub for artists and craftsmen.

The owner of the workshop is Julia Astreou-Christoforou, a lover of art and an excellent artist of weaving.

Here the visitor can find hand-woven contemporary articles, varying from furnishings, accessories and garments.

The amazing Saint Barbara’s church built by local fine craftsmen well known throughout the island for their quality of work.
Kaimakli is one of the oldest and largest suburbs of Nikosia.
The house is known as “Monoportis house: and its name is said to come from Bonaparte. Monoportis was a rich and just person, and seemed important enough to be given that name by the people of Kaimakli. The name changed with the years from Bonaparte to Monoportis.

Strolling around the old neighbourhoods, which date back to the beginning of the 19th century.

It still boasts some of the most distinctive examples of late 19th century houses, built by the renowned master craftsmen of the area.

This venue promotes the study, preservation and development of traditional Cypriot weaving by creating handwoven contemporary pieces.

It is housed in a fine traditional Cypriot family house owned by Julia Astreou-Christoforou.

Artistic gardening...
Julia is responsible for all the functions of the workshop/showroom/gallery, such as research into traditional textiles and production of contemporary, functional woven items, stage costumes, paintings and woven art pieces, which are offered for sale.
These are woven on Cypriot traditional looms which can be seen at work in the “dihoro” (big room with a central arch) of the house.

In pride of place is Julia Astreou-Christoforou’s ancestral house which, following the genuine artistic tendencies of her family is a shrine for weaving.

The elegant show-room.

Beauty inside and outside.

Julia with her husband Dr Christoforos Christoforou.
Daphne is modeling some of her mother’s creations.

Daphne's artistic genes from her mother...

Artist Daphne Christoforou, is currently working on a University project with a graphic designer.

The designs, made by Julia Astreou-Christoforou, are exclusive following on traditional techniques and inspired from traditional motifs.

The end-products are works of art responding to contemporary needs.

When tradition is contemporary. Excellent creations by Julia.

Fruit of the loom.

Some examples of the amazing end-products, really works of art.

The workshop/showroom/gallery is housed in a 19th century family building which is a fine example of local traditional architecture.

At the entrance there are three big arches overlooking an inner garden. Maintenance works and sometimes additions took place every time a girl of the family inherited the house. At the entrance the visitor can read information on the owners and the various stages of evolution of the house.
Julia is also a successful painter. In the picture one of her paintings.

With Dr Christoforos Christiforou in the yard of the workshop.

Τζούλια Αστραίου-Χριστοφόρου, μια εξαιρετική καλλιτέχνης
Εργαστήρι υφαντικής στο Καϊμακλί, προάστιο της Λευκωσίας

Η Τζούλια Αστραίου-Χριστοφόρου ίδρυσε και διευθύνει εργαστήρι που προωθεί την έρευνα, τη διατήρηση και την ανάπτυξη της παραδοσιακής Κυπριακής υφαντικής. Στεγάζεται σε ιδιόκτητο, πατρογονικό σπίτι στο Καϊμακλί, δίπλα στην παλιά εκκλησία της Αγίας Βαρβάρας.

Η πανέμορφη εκκλησία της Αγίας Βαρβάρας στο Καϊμακλί, κτισμένη και στολισμένη από εξαιρετικούς Καϊμακλιώτες τεχνίτες.

Το εξαιρετικό καμπαναριό της εκκλησίας απεικονίζεται σε γραμματόσημο του 1983.

Οι παραδοσιακοί τεχνίτες και μαστόροι από το Καϊμακλί ήταν γνωστοί σε όλη την Κύπρο για την εξαιρετική τους δουλειά. Γι' αυτό ήσαν και περιζήτητοι.

Η Τζούλια στην είσοδο του εργαστηρίου/έκθεσης/γκαλερί, που περιλαμβάνει την έρευνα για τα παραδοσιακά υφάσματα, τη δημιουργία και παραγωγή σύγχρονων χρηστικών υφαντών, θεατρικών κοστουμιών, πινάκων και υφαντών έργων τέχνης που διατίθενται προς πώληση.

Το εργαστήρι στεγάζεται σε κτίριο του 19ου αιώνα που είναι αντιπροσωπευτικό δείγμα της τοπικής αρχιτεκτονικής και μάστορες. Χαρακτηριστικά της οικοδομής συνδέονται με την ιστορία της Κύπρου και με τις βιογραφίες των ενοίκων, οι οποίοι ήταν σημαντικές προσωπικότητες του τόπου, ειδικοί στο κτίσιμο, στην υφαντική και κεντητική.

Το Εργαστήρι άνοιξε τον Δεκέμβρη του 2003. Σ’ αυτό κατασκευάζονται σύγχρονα χειροποίητα υφαντά με αποκλειστικά σχέδια, βασισμένα κυρίως σε παραδοσιακές τεχνικές και μοτίβα. Είναι έργα τέχνης, που ανταποκρίνονται στις σύγχρονες ανάγκες.

Το Εργαστήρι, με τους τέσσερεις αργαλειούς από διαφορετικές περιοχές του νησιού και τη συλλογή των παραδοσιακών και σύγχρονων υφαντών, είναι ένας χώρος όπου αναβιώνει η Κυπριακή υφαντική. Η ιδιοκτήτρια Τζούλια Αστραίου-Χριστοφόρου,
ασχολείται επίσης με την έρευνα των παραδοσιακών υφασμάτων σε συνεργασία με Οργανισμούς στην Κύπρο και το εξωτερικό. Στη φωτογραφία με τον σύζυγό της Δρ Χριστόφορο Χριστοφόρου.
Η συλλογή αποτελείται από θήκες μαξιλαριών, ατομικά πιάτων, τραπεζομάντιλα και κουρτίνες. Σειρά από διαφανή σάλια, βασίστηκαν στο κοστούμι της βασίλισσας Αρήτης εμπνευσμένο από αγγειογραφίες κεραμικών του 5ου αιώνα π. Χ. που έγινε για τη σκηνική παραγωγή «Οδύσσεια».
Μια συλλογή από πολύπλοκα φωτιστικά και πλάϊντς καμωμένα από καλάμια, σπάγκους, γυαλί και χαλκό δείχνουν απρόσμενες διαφάνειες απέναντι στο φως. Τα σχέδια βασίστηκαν στα «ασπροπλούμια» που απλοποιήθηκαν και αναπλάστηκαν σε σχέδια μαιάνδρων με έντονο αρχαίο Ελληνικό στυλ.

Η Τζούλια είναι επίσης καταξιωμένη ζωγράφος.


DUTA said...

Thanks for the story and the accompanying pictures.

The Christofour family looks like a lovely family that lives in a lovely, old house which hosts a workshop/showroom of lovely handwoven articles created by the lady owner of the house.


Cheryl said...

What a legacy to continue. I truly admire artists like Julia, it must be so wonderful for her to make a living doing what she loves. The home is exquisite! Such a talented and beautiful family!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

@ DUTA. Shalom Duta and thank you for the kind comments. All the members of the excellent and lovely Christoforou family are great personalites. I feel so honored to be one of their friends!

@ Cheryl. Kalimera, good morning Cheryl. Christoforou is a talented and beautiful family indeed. They are all gifted personalities. Be sure when you visit Cyprus to include a visit to the workshop! I'll be your guide!!

Jael said...

Beautiful pictures of beautiful places! And those textiles,lovely!
Tosi kaunista Kyproksella;olen käynyt vain lentokentällä!

Mridula said...

Thanks a lot for showing me your corner of the world.

Anonymous said...

Very pretty style there!!
I like this post again=)
Greetings to you!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

@ Yaelian. Terve, Hi Yaelian. Kiitos, thank you for your kind comment. You better visit the rest of the island!
Sinun on parempi käydä muualla saarella!

@ Mridula. I thank you for your sweet words.

@ Kata. Hyvaa huomenta. Good morning dear Kata. Kiitos paljon. Thank you very much.

Rajesh said...

I am always amazed by the architecture of traditional old buildings. The house and church are no exception to this. They are beautiful and eye catchy.

magiceye said...

lovely place full of history and rich cultural heritage!

Zuzana said...

Beautiful! I love all the artwork as well.;) I thought you would have pictures from Germany today.;)
Have a nice weekend,

Phivos Nicolaides said...

@ Rajesh. I am always amazed by the architecture of traditional old buildings too. Architecture has to do with a lot of things of our everyday life, even for the quality of public life and the level of democracy.

@ Magiceye. We are both lucky enough to live in places with long history and rich cultural heritage!

@ Protege. I know you love all the artwork as well. I have around 2000pictures from Germany and I need some time to organize them! I promise sou Zuzana, you'll see many of them very soon! Have a great weekend. Here in Nikosia, Cyprus is raining and is cold!!

Unknown said...

What a beautiful little spot. Loved the story and the weaving is exceptional. A lost art, I think.

Janie said...

Julia's work and shop are beautiful. Thanks for taking us on the tour, and giving us the flavor of this town's architecture.

MedaM said...

This post is really wonderful. I enjoyed the beauty of the streets, buildings, church and its architectural style. And, those hand-woven pieces and creations are simply gorgeous. That really is an art and the work of an artist.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the introduction to Julia!

Phivos Nicolaides said...

@ Janie's World. You might be a little bit right Janie saying that the weaving is a lost art in our days, like many other things...

@ Janie. Thank you Janie for the nice words.

@ MedaM. I fully share your views. I would simply add that Julia is an exceptional artist and a person of a great personality!

@ The Things We Carried. I thank you for your kind comment!

Ces said...

gorgeous pictures. you just keep on traveling. thanks for sharing and for leaving a comment on my blog.

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Ces. Thank you so much for your kind words.

Helena (Gvendalen) said...

Thanks for the interesting story and the beautiful photos.

Susan said...

amazing photos!
have a lovely day, xoxo

Phivos Nicolaides said...

@ Gvendalen. Thank you my dear friend Helena.

@ Susan. Thank you too dear Susan. Have a great week, xoxo

Cheryl said...


Those lovely woven scarves and pillow cases are so beautiful. I love woven handicrafts because they are made lovingly and with care. They're so talented and the house with a marvelous is so well- maintained. Thanks for sharing their house and their talent to us. Julia is one of a kind.;)

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Cheryl. Abig thank you and a bigger hug for you my dear friend. Have a great week! Kali vdomada.

Bhushavali said...

Lovely fabrics... Traditional hand woven fabrics always have their own rustic beauty about them. That's the sole reason I started my fashion blog where its all about our traditional fabrics with a modern twist.. :)

Sunset at My Travelogue
What to wear while exploring at Fashion Panache

Phivos Nicolaides said...

Mitr Friend - Bhushavali. Thank you and best regards Mitr.