Corsican craftsmen: art & well-being
Let us remind ourselves that Corsica is a land of traditions, which we invite you to discover through these few artisans who have set their sights on raw and primary materials such as earth, wood, plants, iron or fire. Stroll on the Route of Authentic Senses to discover the richness and a sample of the diversity of the island’s crafts.
Essential oils & cosmetics of the Corsican maquis
Bathed by the spray of the Mediterranean Sea, flooded with bright sunlight and watered by natural sources of mountains, Corsica has nearly 2000 different plant species from where beauty and health services take profit.
Essential oils: From the fields of immortal plants to the various essences that the Corsican land concentrates, more and more enthusiasts put the “maquis in a vial and within reach of skin. Discover these professionals who play with your nose to remind you, once at home, the good scents of our island. Astratella in Lumio is a distillery with a giftshop on site. The owners Emilie and Noëlle invite you to visit stills resulting from the creation of these precious oils and hydrosols. Visit the stills.
Soaps : AS Figarella is an artisanal soap factory created by two friends Aurélie and Sophie realizing cold saponified goat's milk (from their own herds) made from quality raw materials, from short circuits with 99% Corsican products and knowledge (milk comes from their own flock of goats, olive oil from a field near Bastia ...). The two friends associate their love of Corsica with their passion to propose a natural and authentic range of products. Giftshop to visit, find the goats and leave with their soap and cheese.
Cosmetics : Casanera "Made in maquis", the local brand, condenses the smells of the Corsican “maquis” into cream, soap and candle, on an original idea of a lovely woman from Calvi, now sold in a few shops on the mainland. The shop also offers a luxurious range of jewelry. Where to find them? In one of the many eponymous boutiques in Calvi and several cities of Corsica but also at Le Bon Marché in Paris, or in Aix en Provence.
Donna è uses the therapeutic and beneficial virtues of Corsican maquis species to turn them into beauty products such as cleansing creams, sun balms, hand and body creams. The products are available in several pharmacies in Calvi and on their websites. You can also find them on Corsicabeauty website which condenses a very large part of Corsican cosmetics brands.
Jewels, an ideal gift made from scratch
Maesbijoux is a brand held by a talented woman who creates original necklaces, rings and bracelets based on silverware that she hammers and decorates with creativity and passion. Key holder with goat horn or gun sleeve, an ideal souvenir of Corsica! She’s also an absolute fan of the painter Picasso which you can admire through her painting universe (also for sell). Each of her jewels are unique. Follow the arrows in the village of Lumio to her studio, her place of expression. Open from February to November, 9-12am and 3-7pm.
By Bulles, Marie-Restitude is a local artist who is interested in the sublimation of the “soldi”, this ancient Corsican currency and creates other jewelry inspired by nature with leaf prints and its symbols like the eye of Saint Lucia. She is to be found on the craft fairs of Balagne and on display in the U Spuntinu restaurant located on the road to Calenzana.
Knives, traditions towards excellence
The islanders have always owned a knife. Precious ally of work or defense, it was customary to offer a knife to the child at the passage of adulthood, symbolic of the young man's ability to defend his family. Today, they are more decorative and real objects of art than a defense tool. Materials vary from north to south of Corsica, but rams' horns are the perfect handle.
A funderia by Patrick Martin is a workshop where he makes traditional knives, stylus and other unique creations. Labeled "Living Heritage Company" for the excellence of its knowledge. Where to find him? At the entrance of the car park of the supermarket Casino in Calvi. Pol Demongeot (among other cutlers) display and sells his blades in the shop Le Clémenceau in the street of the same name in Calvi. Traditional knives and unique charcoal forged, its knowledge and its creativity will satisfy the amateurs of beautiful pieces.
Pottery and Ceramics, the land is feeding on water
Meet the corsican potters who work the clay and sublimize it to create useful and decorative objects. Isabelle Volpei makes pieces ranging from blue to green and pearly white to bronze, tableware, candle holders, vases, lamps ... Visit her workshop Terra è Focu (Earth and Fire) in Occhiatana. In Corbara, one of the pioneers of pottery in Corsica, Antoine Campana invites you to discover his workshop and share his passion alive of his island. In Pigna, Cyril Quilichini works all the terracotta. Wide selection and bright colors for ceramics, earthenware and personalized plaques of house or signaling..
Warning: This list is, of course, not exhaustive and other craftsmen are to be recommended. The village of Pigna has many artisans who will share with you their most beautiful passions : stringed instruments maker, glass works, basketry, making toys, weaving and knitting sheep's wool ... We have at the reception brochures on the Route des Artisans and on the Route des Sens Authentiques and we would be happy to share our other good addresses. Perfumes, jewels, decorative objects ... Get a souvenir from Corsica you’ll bring home that will remind you your wanders and these beautiful encounters.