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Artisan in Spain continues ancient tradition of damascening or metal inlays

In the historic center of the ancient city of Toledo, Spain, sitting above the plains of Castilla La Mancha, a shop called Artesanía Tradicional Toledana features artisanal practitioners like Óscar Martin. The shop and its artists keep ancient crafts alive despite industrialization and offer workshops to further the old ways.

TOLEDO, Spain – Óscar Martín serves as a master of damascening, the art of inlaying different metals into one another. He prepares his chisel and hammer, after hand drawing the design he will capture on a piece of iron. Inside the piece, where he makes small bites, he inlays noble material like 24-carat-gold and silver in threads and sheets. Óscar began this trade 30 years ago, following the old artisanal practices.

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In the historic center of the ancient city of Toledo, Spain, sitting above the plains of Castilla La Mancha, a shop called Artesanía Tradicional Toledana features artisanal practitioners like Óscar Martin. The shop and its artists keep ancient crafts alive despite industrialization and offer workshops to further the old ways.

Óscar Martín collaborates regularly in activities organized by the city council and other regional institutions, for which he has achieved national and international recognition.

“We maintained this trade for decades and now there are not many damascenes, because there are no schools. One cannot learn this artform in a month,” he said. “Whoever wants to learn and dedicate themselves to it will have to train, you never finish learning. I have been doing this for 30 years and I am still learning.”

In order to publicize the work of its artisans, the Traditional Toledana Crafts company created Go Craft Toledo, a participatory workshop that offers the community the opportunity to carry out different activities, where one personalizes an article with the art of damascening.

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Honduran journalist with more than 12 years of experience in the media. A communication and advertising sciences graduate of the University of San Pedro Sulha, Xochilth has worked on different radio and television channels and taught at the university level. She currently collaborates as an editor of a digital newspaper.