My name is Montse, and I’m the maker behind La Casa de Cotó – a small collection of handmade rugs, crochet puffs, pillows and blankets strongly influenced by the crafts of North Africa. I live and work in Barcelona, Spain, on the shores of the Mediterranean.
I studied graphic design and photography, and worked as a graphic designer and illustrator for some time. After living in Morocco for two years and working as a freelance photographer, I came back to Barcelona. That’s when I opened La Casa de Cotó. I started this project with a desire to do something creative that would support my new family situation at the time: motherhood. Although the shop is a lot of work, I have freedom to organize my time and it allows me to be home spending more time with my son and family.
Making my crochet pieces is relaxing; it’s kind of like meditation. I learned the technique from my mother, and when I am working with my hands ideas flow freely into my mind. Usually I get more ideas than I can make at once, so I have to write them down or make little drawings on scraps of paper. Afterwards, I discuss the technical issues with my mother and experiment directly with the material itself. Many times during this last step I get new ideas by chance or serendipity. Chance is an important element of my creative process.
I design with the intention of creating comfortable and fun items for living spaces with a cheerful and relaxed atmosphere. I incorporate traditional craftsmanship with contemporary needs, and the result is beautiful, original, and often personalized decor.
When I was first starting out, I thought La Casa de Cotó would only be temporary thing I’d do it until my son got older, but I quickly discovered it’s a job I love. My business has grown since then, and I’ve added new items, like lamps that my husband makes and vintage Moroccan rugs.
Etsy has allowed me to access international markets, which means I can send pieces from my home studio anywhere in the world. My objects are now living in homes around the globe! Above all, receiving positive feedback from customers and other Etsy artisans is more important to me than selling. Having these interactions feeds my creativity, and I appreciate the support and recognition; it’s the stimulus I need to keep going and grow.
All photographs by La Casa de Cotó.