Tasco: the Portuguese brand that preserves the artisan tradition and food culture

10 August 2023

Chouriceira BBQ by Tasco

The project aims to disseminate and protect popular crafts and gastronomy

Gentrification is a phenomenon that affects not only urban architecture but also the production and food habits of a people. It is a social evolution that invades every aspect of life, in a rapid process that leads to radical change. In this scenario, what remains of the historical traditions and skills of a place? To fight its disappearance, Vicara, a Portuguese creative agency, has created Tasco, a brand manifesto against the gentrification of eating habits and the disappearance of popular Portuguese gastronomy. Tasco is a re-enactment of traditional tavern crockery, elevated by the knowledge of Portuguese ceramic artisans. The red or white ceramic, worked and decorated by hand, is the protagonist of a series of collections of crockery and utensils for eating meals.

solarengo tasco

It is not just about food, therefore, but also about rituals, materials, forms, and tools that risk extinction. The first step is to recover manual skills and ceramic processing: in Portugal there is an ancient tradition in this sector with extraordinary manufactures that Vicara, also through the Tasco brand, is committed to enhancing and handing down. This also means finding new creative approaches to ceramic art that do not distort its history, but which make it possible to project it into the contemporary era.

Tasco fulfills this mission, for example, by organizing artist residencies resulting in one-of-a-kind collections halfway between craftsmanship and art. But also, through special events such as the Festival of illustration and creativity in ceramics with which Tasco brings together potters and illustrators to create a creative hybrid of great value and design vivacity. Creating synergies between talents of different backgrounds is, in fact, one of the founding principles of Vicara’s approach and its Tasco brand and this method can be read in the variety of projects and in their originality.

Chouriceira BBQ Tasco

Tasco not only gives continuity to traditional know-how but goes further, giving a contemporary and innovative look to the products. It stands as a link between craftsmen and industry by thinking of a product dedicated to that public that appreciates production quality but also creative innovation. Who goes in search of unique pieces that can tell a story. This happens, for example, with the Chouriceira BBQ, a very common accessory in Portuguese taverns: it is a terracotta pan with a grill, a sort of table barbecue, used to roast chorizo, a typical Iberian sausage. Its use involves a precise ritual, in which food alcohol is poured and lit to roast the chorizo to be divided among the diners. The recovery of gestures, linked to the use of traditional tavern crockery, is one of Tasco’s missions and this also happens, in a simpler way, while sipping wine from a ceramic glass.

Jose Torres collection by Tasco

It is an invitation to rediscover the gestures of conviviality of the past, the luxury of having a meal with ceramic tableware produced by hand and decorated by authentic artists. A luxury that is declined in an informal but cultured way, that looks to the past without fear. And the same goes for the collections of vases: each one different from all the others thanks to decorations handmade by artists and illustrators involved with Tasco. These objects redesign the style of the house in a lively and sophisticated way, exclusive but informal. A small formal and productive revolution that tells an ancient story and enriches it with details and new opportunities.

Vases collection by Tasco
Tasco Animalia Pot
Tasco Animalia Pot
Tasco Chouriceira BBQ
Tasco Descanso
Tasco Vaso do Trabalho
Tasco Solarengo Plate

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