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Artisan Crafted Alebrije Sculpture - Quirky Cat
Quirky Cat
Artisan Crafted Alebrije Sculpture - Quirky Cat
Artisan Crafted Alebrije Sculpture - Quirky Cat
Artisan Crafted Alebrije Sculpture - Quirky Cat
Artisan Crafted Alebrije Sculpture - Quirky Cat
Artisan Crafted Alebrije Sculpture - Quirky Cat
Quirky Cat
Artisan Crafted Alebrije Sculpture - Quirky Cat
Artisan Crafted Alebrije Sculpture - Quirky Cat
Artisan Crafted Alebrije Sculpture - Quirky Cat
Artisan Crafted Alebrije Sculpture - Quirky Cat

Artisan Crafted Alebrije Sculpture - Quirky Cat

$49.00Guest price
$39.20Member price
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Description

Designed and crafted in the workshop of Mexico's Cesar Matias, this sweet cat sculpture is hand-carved from copal wood. It is then carefully painted by hand in the tradition of Oaxacan alebrije folk art.

  • Copal wood
  • 0.96 oz
  • 6 inches H x 1.8 inches W x 6 inches D

THE STORY BEHIND THE PRODUCT

Artisan Organization: Cesar Matias

Country: Mexico

"I am Cesar Matias, originally from San MartΓ­n Tilcajete, Oaxaca. I dedicate myself to wood carving. I am 27 years old, and I am the first craftsman in my whole family. No one before me has been dedicated to making alebrijes, so now I would like to be able to teach it, because being able to teach what we do means being able to reach more people who are in love with what we do.

"My first contact with an alebrije workshop was when I had half a sabbatical year. At that time I was not going to high school and I wanted to take advantage of the time learning to decorate alebrijes with one of the great masters of my community. Later I started to buy my own paintings and since I had some friends who were dedicated to making alebrijes, I would go to their houses to support them in the decoration during the seasons when they had a lot of work. That's how it all started: every time I had some free time I went to paint at their houses and that's where I went back to take up what I had learned before. I think that thanks to them and their families I got back into this world of crafts.

"Now, having my own workshop in collaboration with my friends, I feel that the dedication and love that each one of us puts into each piece that comes out of the workshop is one of the most valuable things. Sometimes kids arrive with the knowledge of other teachers, with other things learned, and with their own style. I try to encourage them, by suggesting colors or designs. I encourage them to get out of that mold or comfort zone from which they already came. I invite them to explore new paths as that is how the pieces are completely different and become unique.

"The time it takes us to make a single piece ranges from 10-/20 days for mini pieces, to 60-80 days for a very large piece. I know how to do all the procedures, such as patching and decorating, but what I like the most is carving the figure from scratch. I also get involved a bit in the decoration, and although I don't sit down to paint like I used to, I do like to help with the designs or the colors. Sometimes we take a day or two to create a design, to know what shape and colors it will have and go on that idea. The important thing is that each of the guys who work in the workshop chooses what they like best and dedicate themselves to it 100%.

"My favorite part of making alebrijes is going back to the beginning and getting out of my comfort zone. If, for example, I carve wood most of the time and one day I sit down to paint, it is like going back to my beginnings, because I have lost the practice and I may not be doing it well, so I make an effort, I give that 100% extra that I had not given before and I feel the passion again.

"I believe that we are currently witnessing the new generation of alebrije artisans in Oaxaca, and I consider myself to be part of this new generation. So one of my biggest goals is to continue promoting this type of craft, and above all, to start doing more extravagant things. There is already a certain market where we already know what is sold, but I would like to experience again how to take new directions, especially because I think we are obliged to return to making different and unique pieces.

"My dream is for my workshop to be recognized as a place for the promotion and creation of art, and for this, in turn, to be a boost for me as an independent artist. I want to promote my workshop as a place where unique and high-quality things are made.""

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