National “Encounter” of Traditional Cartonería (paper mache)

Over the centuries, the various branches of Mexican handcrafts have seen their ups and downs. Some have disappeared and some struggle to make a comeback. Cartonería (or hard paper mache) can be classed in the latter category. It reached peaks in the 19th century and again in the mid 20th century, until the banning of … Continue reading National “Encounter” of Traditional Cartonería (paper mache)

The maker of giant, bouncy puppets

San Miguel de Allende was once described to me as the “Disneyland” version of Mexico… In the center of the city, everything seems almost perfect, clean, orderly all colonial or colonial style buildings in great condition… not to mention the large castle-like facade of the main parish church.   Gringos are everywhere here, and their … Continue reading The maker of giant, bouncy puppets

Continuing the Linares family tradition

Leonardo Linares prefers the term “artisan,” shunning the word “artist,” which has been applied to him by entities such as the British Museum. The reason is that he believes that as an artisan he has more creative freedom.   Leonardo Linares is a fifth generation “cartonero” or maker of paper mache folk art, which is … Continue reading Continuing the Linares family tradition

Monsters and pulque

  In Mexico, folk art is not limited to rural or indigenous communities. Although covered by hardly any artesanía publications, there are artisans in Mexico City and other urban areas, creating rather extraordinary works. Mexico City's borough of Iztapalapa is the entity's largest and most populous, often a landing zone for people migrating from other … Continue reading Monsters and pulque