Artisan Organization: Carlos Mendez
Update (July, 2019)
"I am very happy to work alongside a company that allows us to grow as artisans and increase our quality standards.
"We have worked in our wood workshop for a long time, which has allowed us to improve the perfection and color of our pieces. NOVICA has taught us a quality standard that allows us to work with more standardization and precision. This brought us to use cedar wood more frequently. Cedar wood has a very pleasing smell and it allows us to work with cleaner strokes.
"I work with the help of my daughters and my wife, who detail and color our pieces. One of the challenges that has allowed us to grow is increasing our production. This has required focus, good organization, and attention.
"We are very pleased to know that our pieces are going to places that we did not even know existed. Imagining a piece in the hands of a person in a different part of the world is very moving.
"Now, we have purchased more tools for the workshop, and sales are helping us provide for our daughters, above all affording them an education."
Original Artisan Story
"I'm Carlos Mendez Jimenez and I was born in a small town in Oaxaca. I've always loved our Mexican alebrijes, those whimsical and surreal creatures carved from natural branches and painted in bright colors.
"But I decided to use the colors and style to create jewelry boxes of wood. I wanted to do something different with my own authentic touch. I share a part of my personality in each of my designs.
"I learned a lot by watching, observing the woods that were best to use and why. I discovered I could work with copal, cedar or pinewood. I love the distinct fragrance of each. This makes my work so enjoyable and I like to share it through my designs. The wood's aroma is seductive.
"When I began working in this craft, I realized the responsibility that comes with it. Above, the practice, discipline and perseverance have been the greatest gift this decision has brought me.
"The whole family works with me. My wife does the delicate hand-painting, my daughter sands the pieces and I do the carving.
"My main source of inspiration is the human body — its contours, colors and composition, all that it is.
"My goal is to maintain the quality of my designs and create objects that are unique and different to share the essence of our Mexican culture.
"I leave a little bit of myself in my work, not to be recognized but because I hope to inspire others to be brave and take the reins of their own lives. To remain firm in the decisions we take each day, those that can change our path in life.""