Gozo is renowned for its cottage industries,
particularly spinning and weaving, and the creation of jumpers and
jackets from the wool of sheep and goats.
Lace is the most widespread
doorstep craft. It was introduced on a large scale after the 1840’s.
The craft soon proved its worth for the product was sold to the
higher classes of society and even abroad. It was very common, especially
in the afternoon, to see mothers with their daughters sitting on
empty wooden lemonade crates with a lace pillow in their lap rested
against the wall, their hands moving bobbins swiftly and deftly
creating the most intricate and delicate of designs. Gozo lace is
an object d’art and it continues to flourish despite competition
from machine made lace.
The men make lace of a different variety: silver
filigree, twisted into miraculous pieces of jewellery. And there
is fabulous glass, with remarkable shapes in subtle shades of blue
and green. Pottery is widely available, ranging from decorative
pots and statuettes to imaginative house name plaques and door numbers.
Crafts that are rarer still include palm work, palm
leaves that are woven into sun-hats or baskets, cane work, especially
practised by fisherman during winter during winter to make cane
curtains, carvers or sculptors, working the local stone or papier
mache, producing statues and other objects to their own design,
wood-workers that can construct anything from frames of grandfather
clocks to limitation antiques chests of drawers and guilders, a
craft that is gaining popularity.
Change is slow in Gozo, which adamantly sticks to
its tortoise-like pace. Gozo has still succeeded in retaining its
dream-like qualities of peace and solitude.