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Small Copal Wood Alebrije Figurine - Lilac Turtle
Esteban Hernandez in Mexico carves this sweet turtle figurine by hand from copal wood and paints it in vivid detail. The figurine is a great example of the Oaxacan folk art form of alebrijes.
- Copal wood
- 1 oz
- 1.3 inches H x 3.3 inches W x 3 inches D
THE STORY BEHIND THE PRODUCT
Artisan Organization: Esteban Hernandez
“Hi, I'm Esteban Hernández. I learned the techniques of carving and painting wood through my parents and grandparents. They taught us each step of the elaboration of each piece. Later, I dedicated myself to teaching my children, so that they can preserve this art that has been inherited from generation to generation, and spread it day by day.
“When we started working in this art, our dream was to create fantastic large figures. We wanted many people to know our work, to highlight our pieces through special techniques that were our own and authentic from our workshop. We worked with a lot of effort, and at the beginning we only exhibited the figures in a small location. But with the passage of time, we realized that little by little, with the help of our family, the pieces we have made have been well-received in the market.
“Imagination is essential to give shape and life to each figure. It requires a lot of dedication and patience, but above all, a lot of love and creativity. The main material to create the figures is copal wood. It is very easy to handle, as it is soft and practical when carving.
“What I like the most about work are the whimsical shapes that wood has and the fantastic figures that we can get from them, as well as all the shades of colors that we can make for each piece in terms of the decorations, the pointillism technique, the polishing and refining of each piece. We seek to characterize ourselves through fine finishes such as Zapotec fretwork, and create unique designs that identify us as a workshop.
“Our culture, beliefs and imagination give us the magic to create unique pieces and unusual figures which are currently not seen, such as the mixture of different animals or nahuales. Some classic, and some different, with the added value of that love and dedication with which we make our alebrijes.
“Finally, my family and I want our work to continue growing together through the art of alebrijes. This will allow us to provide job opportunities for young people from our neighboring communities, contributing to the economy of our area.”"