“Las Fallas” is the big celebration in my city, Valencia, in honour of Saint Joseph. I’ve wanted to tell you about it for a long time, and this year I have a very good reason: to show you the fallas by Manitas de Plata.
It is difficult to describe the sensations produced by the smell of gunpowder, the vision of the monuments, the fireworks, the “mascletàs”… The origin of the celebration is the custom of carpenters of burning the useless material of their workshops in a purifing bonfire on St Joseph’s Eve, cleaning up before the arrival of Spring. These bonfires were known as Fallas.
Nowadays these monuments are big sculptures made of papier mache, wood and other materials and represent current topics in a satirical manner. Every “commission” usually sets two fallas, a big one and a children’s one. Both burn the “Cremà” day.
I told you on other occasions (here) about Manitas de Plata. Apart form designing jewels, Marina is also a Fallas artist. A few months ago she invited me to visit her workshop and it was really a magical experience. Last two years she made a children’s falla, but this year she has made two: Exposición Micer Mascó and Santa M ª Micaela. The first one is called “Volare” and the other one “La Chocolatà”. These are the sketches:
At the workshop she showed us the process of creating the monuments: how the structure is built, the materials they use and how they shape and paint them by hand!…
And this is the final result.