When you buy something from an artisan you are buying a hundred hours of experiments and failure, months of frustration and moments of pure joy. You are not buying an object, you are buying a passion, a moment of life of a person.
Going around the island you might observe that many corners, gardens, boats, and houses are really artistic; Kefalonian people were and are in fact truly creative.
Nowadays the handicrafts made on the Island are mainly: paintings, olive tree wood-crafted works of art, recycled copper wire sculptures, dolls, embroideries, lace and needlework, vintage creations of clothing and furnishings and the design and manufacture of jewellery.
Paintings – In Gallery
Dana is the owner of the shop-gallery IN Gallery in Sami, she is an accomplished artist herself and she makes unique religious iconographies, original oils of Kefalonian scenes, custom paintings, hand painted ceramics and much more! Her shop is a fine art shop offering a huge selection of paintings, handicrafts, jewellery and ceramics all created or carefully chosen by it’s charismatic owner.
Wood-crafted works of art and sculpture – Kostas Annikas Deftereos
The roots of the Odyssey is an olive tree wrote Paul Claudel, with this tree deeply rooted in the soil, Ulysses built his bridal bed, at the center of his house. Kostas Annikas Deftereos has a similar strong connection with the olive tree representing a modern day Ulysses! He does not seek the way to Ithaca, which he sees every day from his shop-museum in Sami, he instead searches for ways to remain faithful to his artisan passion in a sea of threats that challenge artisans. Visit his shop-museum which is always full of colors, to admire his olive tree wood turning, wire and drift wood works of art. He has always an interesting story to tell, something surprising and a way to make you smile.
Dolls – Loui Per (Handmade by Louisa)
“The doll made of humble materials has been for many centuries the favorite, and most often the only toy. Traditionally it was made by the mother or grandmother (a law in my place) or even the children themselves. Indeed, here in Kefalonia they called it κουτσούνα”.
Louisa Perati is an amateur puppeteer who comes from Lixouri, a beautiful village and port in the west peninsula of Kefalonia. She studied archaeology and art history in Athens. From 1999 to 2014 she worked in the archaeological service of Patras but in recent years she moved with her family to her hometown, her beloved Lixouri. Since 2014 she has worked with the art of doll making. Each doll is 100% handmade and unique, made of natural organic materials (cotton, linen, silk cloth and yarn) often recycled, often even collectible, worked by a variety of techniques (stitching, embroidery techniques, crochet and needles). She has been influenced by various puppets around the world, but her sources of inspiration (apart from the materials themselves) are the women of her home country who, from a very young age, brought her to the secrets of a wide variety of local handicrafts. In December 2017 her works were exhibited at the Lixouri Philharmonic.
Embroideries, lace and needlework – Harokopio Foundation
The history of handmade embroidery in the Mediterranean sea and so in Greece goes back thousands of years ago. The Harokopio Foundation in Argostoli is a non-profit organisation whose aims are the preservation of embroidery, lace and needlework traditions in Kefalonia. It was founded over 100 years ago by the Kefalonian Mr. Harokopou with the aim to teach the techniques of traditional Greek embroidery to unemployed women and girls, so as to provide them with an income and a good existence. Nowadays the Harokopio Foundation is a workshop in which associated ladies who specialise in embroidery, lace and needlework work, participate as hobbyists. Some of the embroideries are exact copies of 200 years old embroideries which are exhibited in the Corgialenios Folklore Museum in Argostoli. The Harokopio Foundation accepts orders upon request and you should know that every piece is handmade with unique skilfulness.
Vintage creations, clothing and furnishings – Matina Koutala
If you are searching for some unique vintage pieces you should go and meet the artist, decorator, and preserver of antiques, Matina Koutala. Her passion is super energetic and her collection goes from vintage clothes to vintage furniture to vintage jewels. She has created her laboratory Matina Creations in the village Chalikeri, Erisos in the North of Kefalonia.
Design and manufacture of jewellery – Athena Metaxatou
The art of jewellery has received vast attention since the ancient Greek civilisation. Jewels were seen as symbols of power, status, superstition or religion. The Greek goldsmiths probably inherited their techniques from Egypt and Mesopotamia but they developed and maintained their own unique style that is still reproduced nowadays for its beauty.
Athena Metaxatou is a jewellery designer and her predominant purpose is to promote unique Greek cultural heritage. Her love of nature became her inspiration and made her settle in Kefalonia, her place of origin. In the island’s capital, Argostoli, she launched in 2008 a workshop and jeweller shop, known by the title Athena’s workshop. She use various techniques such as the “lost wax” for silver and gold with precious and semiprecious stones. Each piece of jewellery created by her has its own significance and it brings joy, strength, confidence and certainty, it ameliorate fears and becomes a part of the owner life.
Art & Jewellery – Karen Fozzard
Go ‘Down the Rabbit Hole‘ and find yourself in a wonderland of art and jewellery. Every piece is unique and even though the shop is tiny, there are so many things to choose from. Items can be made to order and paintings of your favourite beaches, animals or whatever your heart desires, along with villa signage, wall murals and children’s furniture can be happily conjured up. Karen Fozzard, an incredibly open hearted and talented lady from Yorkshire decided to stay in Kefalonia and open this unique shop. It is definitely worth visiting!