I received a request to write about Mexican wood carvings and show off the ones we currently have in the shop.
I've written about them a couple of times before, here and here, and the basic message is the same. The carvings are hand done with a machete (!) from a soft wood called "copal" that is common to the Oaxaca area--though less and less common as carvers harvest it for their work. The carving is usually done by the men though there are some women in San Martin Tilcajete who carve and paint. But usually, it's the men who carve and the women who paint. Some married couples create together which is the case of some of my favorite carvers, the Xuana family.
The Xuana's style is exemplified by the meticulous painting in the pieces below. This amazing black cat was painted by Flor.
The gorgeous black bear below was carved and painted by one of the Xuana cousins.
Look at the precision of the painting on the good witch below--and her super hip, right now outfit of stripes and patterns...
There are MANY other carvers and many different styles varying from more rustic works from La Union to the semi-rustic but still sophisticated works from Arrazola. Here are a few more examples that are currently in the shop (5/22/14).
Another one of my favorite carvers is Eloy Santiago. He carved this amazing piece of the father and son off to the mercado. There are piglets on one side of the horse and chickens on the other. Truly magnificent!
The third carving village in Oaxaca is Arrazola and the two pieces below come from there. LOOK at the detail on this foxy creature....
And last is this charming mother opossum and her three babies. Carved by Armando Jimenez, grandson of Miguel Jimenez who started ALL of the wood carving industry in the Oaxaca area, this piece is a bright red with a cheerful yellow face and those babies are separate so you can arrange them any way you like...Enjoy!
What kind of wood carvings do you collect?