La Arponera is an art shop and workshop created by Inés Piqueras. Everything is welcomed in this space of marine inspiration, from silversmith to watercolours, located in the old town of Requena (Valencia).
Do you have any craftsmanship or goldsmithing background in your family? No, but you could say I carry the artistic abilities in my genes, each one has their jobs, but everyone creates. My parents and siblings elaborate great handmade wines and they help me every time I come up with an idea. For instance, my father made me an iron pedestal for the exhibition “Soñando el mar”. Also, some signs and other things made of metal.
Can you summarise your professional development and how you initiated La Arponera in 2010? I finished my studies in the Faculty of Fine Arts of San Carlos of Valencia in the year 2000. From there I got some scholarships in Greece, in the Faculty of Fine Arts of Athens, with specialisation on Artist’s Book. I stayed a few more years in the beautiful Greece and I came back in 2009. It scared me a bit coming back to Requena after living in Athens, but I soon found it comfortable and engaging enough to undertake something of my own that had been at the back of my mind for some years. In Greece I started making silversmithing, small sculptures that were jewellery accessories, and when I came back to Spain I took part in some craft fairs and medieval markets. However, as soon as I could, I started my own store-workshop-house in Requena.
Why La Arponera? It is from a song of Esclarecidos that said something along the lines of “quiero ser arponera y pescar tus sentimientos/ I want to be a harpoon and fish your feelings”. I really like the sea and its nature, so it looked like a good option when it came to name my store. Although it could look strange in the middle of Requena’s old town.
Besides silversmithing, you also elaborate engravings, lithography, screen printing, clothing and crocheting items, etc. It is a wide range of products… What is the line you like the most? In my degree in Fine Arts I specialised in Engraving and it is something I really like and something I enjoyed in my workshop in Athens and in exhibitions I made there. I say it with longing because since I started La Arponera, engraving in a large scale and exhibition projects are now in the background. What I mostly do now is jewellery and small format, as well as watercolours. Having an open workshop has its advantages, but it takes away that unlimited and in large scale space of creation that a privet workshop has.
How do you prefer to be called — craftswoman or silversmith? To this question, I answer: artist. I am a creative person that makes use of my hands and handmade processes, among them silversmithing and engraving, to accomplish my pieces, that sometimes are graphic work, watercolours, sculptures or jewellery pieces.
Let’s talk now about your exhibition “Soñando el mar”, that until recently it was in the Centre d’Artesania, what was the exhibition about? What were you trying to communicate? In “Soñando el mar” I was showing a sample of my workshop, engravings, watercolours, sculptures and jewellery pieces, in a didactic way, showing materials and tools to help and create an idea of how is my process of creation.
Coming from Requena, why objects inspired on the sea? When my daughter Mar (Sea) was born, my brother-in-law said “Now Requena has its Mar”. Although, in my opinion, since La Arponera was born you could already smell the sea. People say that your home is where you heart is, so why not bring the sea to Requena in an inspirational way?
How are you going to face 2017? Can you tell us some projects or an idea? The most important creative project I have for 2017 is being a mother for the second time.