Jacobo y Maria Angeles
Thirty years ago our town San Martín Tilcajete wasn’t what it is nowadays. The main source of employment was agriculture and only a few were engaged in the wood carving practice, also there was a strong inclination towards migrating to the United States. Despite these circumstances in 1994 Jacobo and María Angeles Workshop opened with the desire to undertake and rescue the ancestral practice of carving tonas and nahuales . Slowly the workshop got bigger and bigger and developed the particular style that identifies it, always perfecting the one-log wood carving technique to this day always with the aim of innovating, reinventing the workshop and working under the values of the commonality like teaching, sharing and contributing.
Since its beginning, the workshop has been committed to its natural and social environment and we can proudly say that we have generated more than three hundred jobs and have planted more than nineteen thousand copal trees in our region to date.
Manuel Cruz Prudencio
Manuel Cruz Prudencio is from the town of San Agustin de las juntas, Oaxaca. He learned the craft from his parents, Don Agustin Cruz Tinoco and Doña Cleotilde Prudencio Ramirez. They left their life as farmers to become artisans, and became famous for their religious wood carvings. Manuel started helping his father out in the shop at the age of 5, but didn’t start carving until the age of 11.
Manuel was awarded with several prizes and acknowledgments for his work. Also, Manuel won 3rd place in the State Award Benito Juarez. The exquisite carvings with delicate and intricate designs are what define his style.
Luis Sosa comes from the town of San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca. This town specializes in the creation of fantastical wooden figures called alebrijes. He carves and paints all of his work, and his style has become very unique. His use of bright and vibrant colors make his artwork stand out in any decor.
Each piece is made out of a wood called copal, that mainly grows in the south of Mexico. Each of his pieces take up to a year to make because of the wood’s drying process and the amount of time it takes to paint. Because of its several layers, Luis’ artwork is very intricate and detailed.
Armando Jimenez the grandson of the master woodcarver Manuel Jimenez. Armando works with his wife and children. They carry on the tradition of naturalistic and colorful carving started by his grandfather.
Armando comes from Arrazola, Oaxaca. The creation of traditional wood carvings has made this town famous. Copal is the name of the wood that is used to make alebrijes, it comes from the state of Oaxaca. The vibrant and playful colors are what identify Armando’s style.
Isaac and Rosario Fabian are from the town of San Martin Tilcajete, Oaxaca. They are fourth generation artists and have created their own workshop called Zoologico Magico. Moreover, the use of vibrant colors and a clean modern style of painting define their artwork.
The alebrijes made in the Zoologico Magico studio are all inspired by Oaxacan culture. Above all, Isaac and Rosario try to innovate with their painting techniques but at the same time remain true to their roots. By using the same carving techniques that their ancestors used, Zoologico Magico makes beautiful art with a soul.
Julia Fuentes works together with her husband José Juan Melchor to create beautiful pieces of art. The alebrijes that are the couple’s trademark portray a wonderful sense of movement and curiosity. Julia’s painting style is at the top of the field. Her technique reflects an expert level of shading with a sense of graduation in the colors. Although Julia uses her fine art studies to redefine the painting techniques found in Oaxacan wood carvings. She also honors the traditions that her family is famous for. Most notable is her use of Zapotec Indian symbolism as medallions that often appear on the body of the animal, creating a fusion between the past and the present.
Major folk art galleries around the world now show their pieces. Julia and Jose Juan are rising stars of the Oaxacan wood carvings. The couple maintains the sense of color and whimsy that these alebrijes are known for, whilst elevating them to create truly special artwork.