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Gerardo and Teresa Ojeda

Artisan Organization: Gerardo and Teresa Ojeda

Country: Mexico

“Hello, we are Gerardo and Teresa Ojeda.

“My wife and I were fortunate that our parents were masters of this craft. When I married my wife, she and I began to work together and share our ideas, knowledge and love for this art: the wonder of making alebrije sculptures.

“Now, instilling the enthusiasm of our work in our daughters and family is a great experience, because in addition to teaching, we never stop acquiring knowledge and new techniques. We are very proud to continue this family tradition, and are willing to put all our effort, dedication and life into making these handicrafts.

“Copal wood is the main material for the elaboration of alebrijes. We use various tools such as machetes, knives, gouges, sandpaper, acrylic paints and brushes. Wood carving requires patience and care to avoid accidents with the machetes, knives and gouges. During the elaboration, my wife dedicates herself to the carving of the piece and its decoration. Our nephews sand the pieces, and my daughters have begun to acquire mastery in the “anchoring” technique, which consists of polishing the piece for a better finish.

“We want to capture the love for our culture, the beauty of nature through its colors and convey a story in each piece, accompanied by our feelings and dreams. In general, I like to make small pieces. They take time and require more precision, but the result is amazing, unexpected. More elaborate animals, such as the opossums, are challenging.

“Finally, we want to support our community. As artisans, we participate in the reforestation of copal wood, which they carry out every year. I have been fortunate to exhibit my work. Today, I am very proud of everything we have achieved.”"