KEEPING A SECULAR CRAFT
The wood turning trade has been linked to our family, as far as we know for sure, since the beginning of the 19th century, and probably much before.
THE NEIRA FAMILY: TURNERS FOR CENTURIES
The first reliable mention of a Neira that was dedicated to turning dates from 1808 and is due, curiously, to a fatal error.
In that year, Napoleonic troops invaded Spain. In the village of Ulla, parish of Berres, a man named Felipe Neira (our grandfather’s grandfather’s grandfather) asked for help from a group of soldiers who came to this village without knowing that he was on the wrong side. French soldiers caught him and killed him on Cuntis’ crossroads This story, which remains in the oral tradition, also tells that this man was already a turner. We suspect it was not the first in the family saga, but we have no prior reference.
FROM THE 19TH CENTURY TO TODAY
Since then, the trade in our family has been passed down from father to son, something very common in traditional crafts, where spinning workshops abounded. The way of working has been adapted to the times and the evolution of machinery. At first, the lathe used was a rod lathe (which was similar to a loom, with a long flexible wooden rod that served as a spring connected to a pedal with which the movement was generated), with which the Berres turners worked until the 30’s of the last century. Later and in a little more than 20 years, they toured the pedal, hydraulic and electric lathes (which power they began to generate themselves using the energy of the water and by the way providing electricity to their homes) and copiers. Until the arrival of the mainstream, the craftsmen themselves were the ones who made the machines and tools. Our grandfather experienced all this evolution first-hand and told us about it with passion.