Gold Embroidery - See it in action

Francisco Carrera Iglesias © Michelle Chaplow
Master embroiderer, Francisco Carrera Iglesias - this charming, cultured artisan is the youngest Sevillano ever to have a street named after him. © Michelle Chaplow
See behind the scenes of Semana Santa. © Michelle Chaplow
Francisco is a great host, opening his doors for visitors to see the artesans in action.

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GOLD Embroidery

by Fiona Flores Watson

...from Page 4

See the artisans in action

A dynamic businessman and tireless promoter of Seville's Arte Sacro (religious art), Francisco was the driving force behind the creation, in 2018, of a new association for religious artisans in the city. The Gremio de Arte Sacro (Guild of Religious Art) promotes and defends the crafts of embroidery, gold and silversmithing, sculpture, candle-making, cord-making, restoration, gilding, carpentry, cabinetmaking, and more, numbering more than 40 skilled professionals in total.

Francisco is passionate about informing people as to his artisan profession, hosting regular visits to the workshop - "Sevillanos don't know anything about how it's done," he laments, while for those who are visiting it's a unique opportunity to learn about an unknown skill, because often they "don't have it in their country."

Thanks to his highly respected position in Seville, as someone so closely associated with Semana Santa and its superb workmanship, a street in Francisco's barrio, Cerro de Aguila, has been named after him - the youngest-ever Sevillano to be honoured in this way. He also received the Medal of Seville City in 2022, and in 2024 the Guild of Religious Art was awarded the Gold Medal for Merit in Fine Arts. 

In 2022, Francisco was chosen to show a piece at the second exhibition of Homer Faber, a worldwide network supporting artisans. An associated exhibition, organised by the Asociación Contemporánea de Artes y Oficios, with the support of the Michelango Foundation for Creativity and Craftmanship, took place at Castillo San Jorge in Triana, in April-May 2023.

Francisco is adamant that the city needs a museum explaining the extraordinary annual event that is Semana Santa in Seville, so essential to the city's character, in order that visitors who don't experience it for themselves, can still learn about it (Valencia has a Fallas museum, for example). While that is not yet slated to happen, thanks to this artisan's drive and determination, the Gremio should soon have a permanent exhibition in the Castillo San Jorge, home to the Museum of Tolerance (about the Inquisition) in the first half of 2024.

You can visit Francisco Carrera Iglesias's workshop (groups of 15 people maximum); visits usually take place on Tuesdays. Call 954 223 282 to make an appointment.