Pasqual Arnella

Ramon Pascual receives the Master Craftsman Diploma

18 May 2023

Last February Ramon Pascual received the Master Craftsman Diploma awarded by the Generalitat de Catalunya, a well-deserved recognition for his more than 40 years working and creating with paper.

With this diploma, the Government of Catalonia (La Generalitat de Catalunya) wishes to recognise the professional careers of the different representatives of the craft sector in Catalonia. It is awarded to people who have made a craft their profession, and who have more than twenty years of recognised professional experience, with excellence in the technical mastery of the craft and contributions to its practice, combined with the ability to transmit the knowledge of the craft through the mastery exercised.

Ramon Pascual, a life and a family dedicated to craftmanship

This award is the recognition not only of a professional career, but also of a passion that has been the nexus of a whole life and family. Ramon Pascual worked for more than 45 years in the family business Pasqual Arnella, where he learned from his parents and grandparents everything related to the manufacturing of handicraft products made of paper-mâché.

Together with his brother Josep Maria Pascual, who was Master Craftsman Diploma (1989) and National Crafts Award (2016), they developed and reinvigorated the company towards new horizons thanks to research, whose aim was to provide the Catalan paper and cardboard craftsmanship with quality products at affordable prices. Ramon and Josep Maria were the third generation of a family business that began in 1892 with Amador Pascual.

In 2008, together with Josep Maria’s son, Martí Pascual, they gave new impetus to the business and began to develop new projects that became internationally renowned for their innovation and sustainability.

Currently the management and direction of the company is in the hands of the fourth generation, Martí Pascual, Josep Maria’s son, and Claudia Pascual, Ramon’s daughter. Their aim is to maintain the essence and values of the previous generations, while expanding expectations with new projects based on the paperpaste made with the technique created by Josep Maria.

A new procedure that meant the recovery of a craftsmanship

Ramon Pascual’s career has been full of outstanding projects, which he carried out thanks to his wittiness, creativity and tireless effort and work. One of the greatest achievements carried out by Ramon and Josep Mª Pascual, thanks to the symbiosis between the brothers, was the invention of a new method for moulding paper and cardboard, which they patented and thanks to which not only had the company a new momentum at a time of crisis, but it also meant the survival of this craftmanship. The new system enabled the Catalan craftsmen to produce originals and moulds of large figures from paper paste, to be decorated and successfully marketed from 1980 to the present day.

Some of the most outstanding techniques that have made Ramon Pascual worthy of the diploma were:

  • Manual moulding of cardboard and papier-mâché in iron and plaster moulds.
  • Application of handmade paint by brush, polychromes.
  • Smoothing and plastering of figures using plaster.
  • Spray-gun airbrushing.
  • Reinforcement of half-pieces with newspaper.
  • Manufacture of paperpaste.
  • Construction of handmade injection moulds for paper paste.

The creations of a lifetime dedicated to paper craftsmanship

Thanks to the technique developed by the brothers and handed down from generation to generation, it is still possible to see the traditional papier-mâché horses. In fact, Pasqual Arnella is the only manufacturer in the world who is still able to make them. Other outstanding works by Ramon Pascual that have marked his career are:

  • A 2-metre globe made with collage and decoupage techniques, in collaboration with Samira Badran.
  • A dragon for the “correfocs”, a Catalan tradition, and a dove of peace for the local festivities in Barberà del Vallès.
  • Masks made for the Venice carnival.
  • Busts and torsos with the Union Jack flag in paper paste relief, commissioned by the United Kingdom.
  • Mannequins and torsos for well-known international sports brands.
  • Paper mannequins for haute couture, in collaboration with Carmen Lucini.
  • The production of the traditional cardboard rocking horses that were the origin of the company.

Now, Pasqual Arnella is moving forward, preserving the traditional techniques that are its hallmark, but adapting them to the new times and to an increasingly ecological future.

The company has embraced the circular economy from all angles; its paperpaste is a harmless material without glues or chemical binders, based on recycled paper and cellulose with FSC certification and complies with the fire standard (UNE-EN 13501).

Its production processes are carbon neutral, using closed water circuits and solar energy to power its in-house moulding machines. Corporate social responsibility is guaranteed through flexible working hours, gender parity and non-discrimination based on age in employment. An example of a company that has managed to evolve without renouncing its essence, thanks to the values of generations such as Josep Mª and Ramon Pascual.

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Pasqual Arnella
PASQUAL ARNELLA S.L. en el marco del Programa ICEX Next, ha contado con el apoyo de ICEX y con la cofinanciación del fondo europeo FEDER. La finalidad de este apoyo es contribuir al desarrollo internacional de la empresa y de su entorno.

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