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a perfect day

Our meeting place is the plaza in Fornalutx. We have our first coffee of the day at Jaime's Bar before setting off. Our first stop is Toni's studio, located just above Sóller railway station. His work with handmade paper is quite remarkable. He works with several other artists in a converted weaving mill, and also exhibits his work there. On our arrival Toni greets us with freshly brewed coffee, then proceeds to show us his pride and joy: the wine bodega located in the cellar of his huge, open-plan studio. But it's too early to do any wine tasting. That comes later!

We take our leave of Toni and head towards Campos, where we will look at some sculptural work. Our plan is to combine this with a visit to a Majorcan winery. From Campos we drive a few kilometres towards the salt flats, where the renowned Flor de Sal mineral salt is harvested. Nearby is Es Trenc, one of the most beautiful beaches in all Majorca. We turn onto a narrow country road and keep going until it seems like we've reached the end of the world. Luckily we can still enjoy the cool of the morning. In the afternoons it gets searingly hot here. We arrive at a house with an overgrown garden, in which, half hidden among the long grass, we can make out oxidised metal parts that look like giant spiders' legs. Is this the work of an artist? Metre-long pipes of galvanized steel in various stages of oxidation lean against an open shed. We discover piles of similar metal parts. Is this engineering scrap or remainders from mass production?

As we park our car we're careful not to slip into the tractor tracks that criss-cross the garden. Behind us is an old stable supported by weather-beaten sandstone pillars and housing an ancient Citroën and an abundance of different materials. We've come to the right place! We're familiar with Ferran's work from catalogues, but we never imagined we'd encounter his sculptures in their raw state like this. Surrounded by plants, the rusting steel fragments look like elements of nature. Growth and decay seem to meet and combine here in an entirely natural way.

A man comes out of the house and walks towards us. He smiles and motions for us to come inside. We sit with Ferran in his kitchen, the central room of the house. With a glass of red wine in our hands, we quickly strike up a conversation. The artist tells us about his recent exhibitions, and shows us impressive photographs of his recent work. Then he takes us into his tiny workshop, which resembles an old forge.

Following a light lunch of sea-fresh king prawns at a tastefully converted old millhouse, we drive on towards Son Servera to meet Maria, whose minimalist ceramics are part of the permanent collection at the MOMA in New York. Her house is currently being renovated, so she shows us around her workshop, which looks like a kind of laboratory, packed full of boxes containing paints and other materials. Her house, like her works, is minimalist. It is fascinating to see how much thought, work and material is required to create objects of such concentrated simplicity.

Finally, we pay a visit to a winery, whose exclusively organic wines have garnered numerous international awards. The owner is happy to chat with his customers, explaining how his wines are produced. He also shows us the fermentation tanks and the original designs for his wine labels. Meanwhile, his wife serves us cheese and Quelis crackers with wine.

Such a perfect day!