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"lapinha" of the island

Written by  yvette vieira fts nuno medeiros


Nuno Medeiros began by sculpting the stone for pleasure, as a pastime, the first pieces were replicas of the houses and churches of São Miguel for his crib and after that he never stopped.

It was always a tradition of the islands, in São Miguel, in the Azores, nativity crib begins in the sixteenth century, through the nuns who, by taking advantage of their free time, constructed nativity scenes using wax, elements available in the nature like shells, mosses and dried flowers to create cribs in bells or glass boxes that were authentic works of convent art. With the passage of time were being added pieces made in basalt and pumice and nowadays, there is no Azorean house that does not have its crib, whether traditional or not, as is the case of the craftsman Nuno Medeiros, whose Passion for these Christmas scenes "began six years ago, because I wanted to do something different from what we were used to seeing, I decided to build a crib with bright, lively little houses, I wanted it to draw people's attention and I made one that was open to the public in my own house and now for 3 years I have made the "lapinha" in the parish council of Arrifes ".

The passion for carving pieces in stones was born naturally, it is a self-taught, "I have no one in the family who makes sculptures, I wanted to build replicas of typical houses and churches of the island that are made of stone, I started by reproducing them and People liked it, "he says. The pieces that make up his crib are made of basalt stone from Ribeira Grande, better known as a stone from the fields and from the island of Santa Maria that he obtains from private sellers, "I buy from certain people who have this type of rock, I take the stone in raw and then I go to a sawdust where they cut it as I want, "the execution of the pieces is not difficult, in his view," provided you have the right tools. "

After the success of the first animated version of his nativity crib, the orders did not stop arriving, Nuno Medeiros says, "they asked me the price, but at first I did not want to sell." Nowadays, in his spare time, he carves detailed pieces that he sells to private individuals throughout the island, and one of the replicas he is most asked to build is the island's small mills, but he does not receive many orders from abroad, because "they are very heavy pieces. I had an order for a stone crown for the Santa Cristo, for the US, but the transportation was more expensive than the value of the pieces themselves". Now, his dream is to be able to live one day of this art, but until then, he builds the most original Lapinha with each passing year. Merry Christmas!

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