One of the highlights of a visit to Las Casas de Acuzar is the workshop tour (the others being the Heritage Tour and the houses of course). At the time of our visit, construction of additional houses is in full swing and the workshop is in full work mode also.
The first stop of the tour is a visit to the brick and roof tile workshop. All bricks and roof tiles are made in the property (except for those that came with the original house). They are hand-made (using clay from a farm) and fired in an oven using the wood shavings and other wood discards from the other workshops).
Bricks being hand-pressed then dried before being fired in the oven.
Roof tiles being laid out to dry.
In another workshop, murals are made by workers from the community. They are made from thin strips of PVC colored in different shades. They are cut into small strips and small shapes and pasted onto a backboard with outlines. They are designed by the property’s in-house artists and are based on famous Filipino paintings.
A local cutting tiny PVC strips (on bottom right) and pasting them on the board.
A wide view and detail shot of the murals. At these levels, you can see the big picture and the level of details.
Wallpapers are another old luxury item produced inside the property. The big details are silkscreened onto PVC boards while the smaller details are handpainted. Because of the high level of manual effort required to produce just one panel of wallpaper, they are only used on the most opulent rooms in the resort. In the past, only the very rich can afford these wallpapers as they were imported from Europe.
Clay ornaments usually used outside houses due to rain and as bas-relief on walls are carved by woodcarvers and then air-dried and oven-dried similar to the process for bricks and roof tiles.
Clay ornaments air-drying.
A head and a hand clay sculpture. This reminds me of Greg Heisler’s photo of Muhammad Ali’s massage therapist.
Wood details on celings are also done here (again other than those coming from the original houses). In this picture, the design is made by cutting different colored wood into appropriate shapes and then gluing them together.
Wood detail to be used on one of the new constructions.
Finally, the property prides itself in having very good woodcarvers. The senior woodcarvers come from the town of Paete, Laguna, a town famous for its long tradition of wood and stone carving. They produce scuptures, corner and door details, etc.
A sculpture of girl on the shop floor and a woodcarver intensely doing his work.
If you’re going to visit Las Casas Filipinas de Acuzar, be sure to join their workshop tour. You’ll surely learn a lot and it’s free (included as part of resort accommodation rate).