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image002If you have not already made a visit to the Campanario Shopping centre on a Sunday morning, you really should do so. The streets are filled with stalls offering all kinds of hand-made crafts. Many of the stall holders speak English as well as Spanish and some of them have emigrated to the island from Great Britain and become part of the Artisan culture.

Here is one such couple, Bernie Powers and Karen Maynard.

Bernie and Karen have a very interesting history together, Karen originates from South Wales and met Bernie whilst she was working as a bus driver in London. They travelled together first to Australia where Bernie worked as a painter and decorator for six years, after which they lived in Israel where Bernie took tourists on guided tours of all the biblical sites, before arriving in Fuerteventura 12 years ago.

 

 

 

Bernie has had a life long fascination with history and archaeology, whilst Karen has been drawn to arts and crafts of every kind. Their two interests have combined to produce unique items for their market stall.

image004Karen and Bernie have used the local animal skulls to produce book ends, lamps and other beautiful decorative items. Their love of “time teaming” which involves delving into the rubbish dumps of old abandoned houses has also produced a rich bounty of old coins which they present for sale in framed mounts and pottery fragments which they have imaginatively recycled into modern day ceramics.

 

 

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These photographs show the difference in life styles of the local inhabitants. On the left are fragments of Delft and Meissen pottery found in the ruins of the more affluent family homes. On the right the fragments of home made pots made by the locals themselves from the earth around them and “fired” in a traditional oven.

Bernie has an immense knowledge of the history of the island and its early inhabitants which he imparts freely to anyone who is interested. He has published a small book which is well worth the €5.00 price and is available on the stall. He also offers guided tours of all the historical sites around the island. Contact him on //This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it./ for a really interesting historical experience.

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Karen has taken on and mastered a huge variety of crafts. When they arrived on the island Karen made her living by face painting, hair braiding and sign writing. They ran the Tindaya arms for several years and the bar displayed many of the lovely things Karen had made. Skulls may seem an unusual thing to display and decorate, but Karen, like me appreciates the intricacy and architecture of the way in which the skulls are formed. Her work can be seen on www.tinkazdesigns.co.uk

Tindaya, where Bernie and Karen live is a traditional village situated in the mountain range on the way to Puerto del Rosario. Mount Tindaya has relics of an ancient past in terms of “Podomorphs” which are inscribed on the rocks. Access to the mountain to view these is strictly controlled and official permission has to be obtained first. Contact Bernie for details of this and any of his tours and talks on 0034 687 344 86

Fuertenews is a free publication bringing you news and views about Fuerteventura. Any donations would be welcome.