Did you already notice the colourfully painted sculptures in our shop? Well, those are our alebrijes. Alebrijes are imaginary creatures that are painted in the most amazing colours with very fine patterns.
Originally, they were made from papier-mache but in Oaxaca, Mexico they carve them out of copal wood. The tree referred to as copal is native to Mexico and has many uses beyond alebrije carving.
The magic begins in a small workshop mostly run by a family where everyone has a role in the process. First, they collect the wood and dry it. Then is time to carve the wood and bring it to life. The artisans have a very vivid fantasy and are experts in seeing which kind of creature is hiding in the shape of the wood.
For the carving, no mechanical tools are used, everything is done by hand with knives and chisels. After carefully carving the wood, the figure is left to dry for several weeks, or even months, depending on its overall size and thickness.
Then the figures are sanded and painted with a base coat of paint. The final painting is also done by hand, very precisely, and with complex and fine patterns, and vibrant colours. So, each alebrije gets a part of its author’s soul and its own personality.
Which personality suits you? No matter what alebrije you choose, they will decorate very nicely and bring joy and colour to your room. Visitors will be impressed by all the details and the originality of every piece.
Want to adopt one of our colourful friends? See them all in our shop.