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History & Manufacturing

History & Manufacturing

Jacobo Ángeles (born 1973), learned from his father the art of woodcarving at the young age of 12. Jacob acquired further knowledge from old masters of woodcarving from San Martin Tilcajete Zapotec villages. His wife, María (b. 1977) also from an artistic family, is responsible for the detailed painting of the figures. Other family members support both of them during varied procedures, which are necessary to complete the uniqueness of the copal. The wood carving of Ángeles is a major component of many galleries and private collections. Some were already exhibited in museums in Tokyo, San Francisco and Chicago.

The wood carving goes back to pre-hispanic roots in the Oaxaca region. Jacobo and Maria want to preserve their art heritage of the great Zapotecs. In their Reportoire one finds mostly animal figures, which point mostly to Zapote calendrical and mythological significance. They include for example the Jaguar, the Iguana, a Rabbit, a Frog and a tortoise, but also animal figures which can be actualized according to customer demand. All figures distinguish themselves through unique attitudes and body language. They are polished and refined with the finest painting of natural colors. Maria developed a unique style reflecting the Zapotec culture. The basis of her figures is the wood of the copal. Preferably the wood of the female trees, since the wood is well suited for figures made of one piece of wood. After beating the wood, it is relatively soft and can be formed relatively easily with non mechanical tools such as machetes and sichels. After several days a “rawfigure” emerges and now is inserted for several hours into a special tincture consisting of gasoline and insecticide, in order to make any “blind passengers”, such as wood worms harmless. Thereafter follows a drying process in the Oaxaca sun for several months. This produces many fine cracks in the wood. With a paste made of fine sawdust they are carefully filled. Of course the flour has to be smoked first.

What follows are several weeks of painting of the figures. Original Colors are used from fruits, vegetables, tree bark and clay but also insects, such as the red pigment of blood Kaktuslaus (cochineal), all of which form the basis.

Starting basis Green Blue

Jacobo holds in his hand some of the dried and powdered bark of the male copal. A dash of lime juice shows it is a soft brown. A true black is created by adding lime. Add a little baking powder and lime juice and the color changes to a bright yellow. Add more baking powder and there is a bright magenta.

A new base is created through crushed seeds of the pomegranate. And add a little lime it creates a green. Jacobo mixed the green with the Magena, and receives a deep blue. Add some zinc and it turns gray. Even more zinc and the gray turns white. The fermented and powdered corn fungus called huitlacoche, a delicacy in Mexico, has a beautiful ocher color and the dried and crushed cactus lice bring out various vibrant reds.

Painting with a steady hand...
... and natural colours

To prevent the fading of these bright colors, the natural colors are mixed with a tincture of Copalharz and honey. This gives the objects a gentle glow. Acquiring an object from the factory “Angeles”, you are assured a top quality acquisition of great appreciation in value.

Jacobos and Marias objects are shown in museums and galleries all over the world:

1994 1. Platz, FONART woodcarving competition, Museum of Folk Art, Mexiko-Stadt, D.F., Mexiko
1998 World Bazaar Gallery, San Diego, California, USA
  "Week of Culture" Festival, Reading, Pennsylvania, USA
1999 Ausstellung "Three Masters" (mit Rodolfo Morales & Alfonso Castillo) Los Angeles, USA
2000 Lamanai Gallery, Akumal, Yucatan, Mexiko
  Eagle Dancer Gallery, Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA
2001 American Indian Gallery, Aisland, Oregon, USA
  Heard Museum, Indigenous Art Collection, Phoenix, Arizona, USA
2002 Zahuaro Museum, Tucson, Arizona, USA
  Nuestra Tierra Gallery, Half Moon Bay, San Francisco, Kalifornien, USA
  The Smithsonian Museum, New York, USA
  National Museum of Indian Art, New York City, New York, USA
2003 Mexican Fine Arts Museum, Chicago,Illinois, USA
   Mandragora Gallery, Tokio, Japan
   Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts, Alta Loma, Kaifornien, USA
 2004  Tohono Chul Park, Tuson, Arizona, USA
   World Bazaar Gallery, San Diego, Kalifornien, USA
   Nuestra Tierra Gallery, Half Moon Bay, San Francisco, Kalifornien, USA
   Southwest Museumof the American Indian, Los Angeles, Kalifornien, USA
   Botschaft der Vereinigten Staaten von Amerika, Mexiko-Stadt, D.F., Mexiko
   Maloof Foundation for Arts and Crafts, Alta Loma, Kalifornien, USA
 2005  Museum of Folk Art, San Bartolo Coytepec, Oaxaca, Mexiko
   Eagle Dancer Gallery, Santa Fe, Colorado, USA
   Southwest Museum, Mesa, Arizona, USA
 2006  Harvey Meadows Gallery, Aspen, Colorado, USA
   Popular Museum of Art, Mexiko-Stadt, D.F., Mexiko
   Centra Museum, Mexican fine Arts, Chicago, Illinois, USa
 2007  Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, Arizona, USA



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