Mango napkin holder
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Looking ripe and luscious, this pretty mango is actually a charming napkin holder. Guatemalan artisan Julio Jimenez crafts the holder by hand from pine wood and paints it with care.
Artisan Organization: Julio Jimenez
“My name is Julio Rodolfo Jiménez. I was born in Jocotenango, Sacatepéquez in 1982. I consider myself a persistent, hard-working person; and I never give up.
“I always lived with my parents. My mother sold tacos, tostadas, atoli and dobladas, and my father was dedicated to the manufacture and sale of wooden fruit. Because I was a male child, I had to help my father with his work, and that is how at the age of 7 I began to dedicate myself to this world. Of my brothers, I was the only one who followed the tradition. The first thing I made was a mango that my dad sold.
“Fifteen years ago I started my own business, and now, just as my father taught me everything he knew, I am teaching my children. That is what I like the most, because I can spend more time with them. We all work as a team: my young son paints the pieces, my wife and my middle son varnish, my nephew rounds the wood and my oldest son sands and cuts the wood. We use materials such as wood, sealants, water-based paints, lacquer, rubber and sandpaper; and tools such as a lathe, band saw, auger, carving knives and chisels.
“One of my biggest dreams is to be able to buy land for my children and not have to rent like I do. Although it has been difficult to establish myself as a craftsman, this is how I can give my children an education. I want people to see the quality of my work and how similar the figures are to fruits. I thank God that he is opening the doors of Novica to me, a company that helps small artisans.”"