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Célia is the founder of GUR and is from Viana do Castelo, a small town in the north of Portugal that is very rich in traditional handcraft.

 

Célia always remembers having hand woven rugs in her house and in their friends and family's homes too. They are very typical in Portugal and they have always been more or less the same; beautiful in their own way but very simple, using randomly chosen recycled materials from textile factories.

After some years working at an artist's print studio in Porto, Célia was invited to an exhibition in her hometown, where the intention was to make a bridge between artisans of traditional handcrafts and young designers. It was here that she worked on a design for the handloom with the weaver Cláudia Vilas Boas and they made the first GUR. Célia was so happy with the result and found it so exciting that she wanted to share the experience. She asked some of her illustrator friends to design one too, and GUR started.

The essence of GUR is making these typical Portuguese rugs more fun. We use the same techniques with carefully selected materials. The rugs are very authentic to what they have always been but now they involve a design factor working with artists and illustrators, translating their ideas into rugs. 

 
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Cláudia Vilas Boas, weaver from the north of Portugal since 1991.

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Rosa Costa, weaver from the north of Portugal since 1980.

 
 
 
 
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All GUR labels are a memory of Célia's past and are hand printed in silkscreen.

I worked for five years as a technician at the Fine Arts University print studio. During this period my work was to support classes, help students and work directly with artists in order to produce print editions. I feel that this influenced a lot of what I do today with GUR. Although I have always worked as a creative, with drawing and design, the techniques and crafts behind the objects have always attracted me more. The manual interaction in the process of creating something with your hands brings me much more pleasure. At first I found that desire satisfied when printing for artists and now I have that same pleasure while making rugs for artists.
— Célia Esteves
 
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