Gracia Piña Miel - Large
The pineapple, a symbol long associated with hospitality and goodwill, is turned into a masterpiece in the hands of one of Mexico's most celebrated artisans, Hilario Alejos Madrigal. These whimsical pieces feature elaborate details of incision, appliqué and openwork. This requires exceptional mastery not only in clay sculpture, but also in the dual firings necessary for each piece.
Madrigal first learned clay-making techniques at the age of 13 from his mother, Elisa Madrigal Martínez, who is known as the foremost master and creator of the infamous Carapan pineapple. Now, in his workshop in San José de Gracia, Michoacán, he works alongside his wife, Audelia, and his children, to whom he has passed his knowledge and are crafting their own styles.
Materials used to create the pineapples begin with clay extracted from San Jose de Gracia. In the state of Michoacán, men extract large chunks of clay utilizing picks and shovels. The material is put into sacks and brought back to the village on the backs of burros or mules. This is the raw material with which Hilario Alejos Madrigal creates his celebrated pineapple pots. Once in the workshop the clay is cleaned, ground down into a fine powder, sifted, and wetted. For his pieces, modeling and molding techniques are utilized; specifically for his pineapples an extremely elaborate appliqué technique is necessary to attain realistic texturing. After the item is sculpted and fired, it’s ready to be given a dose of color. Glazes mixed with copper sulphate and other minerals introduce brilliant shine to each piece. Items are fired twice: once after the clay cures and again after they are glazed.
Madrigal is the recipient of several prizes in local and national artisan competitions including the Premio Fomento Cultural Banamex to the Great Masters of the Mexican Folk Art; one of his signature pieces, the Biznaga, can even be seen in the wonderful book The Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art.
Measurements: 7"W x 16"H
This item cannot be returned. As a piece that are 100% handmade imperfections are present. Please review all photos before making a purchase as returns are not available due to the delicate nature of the item.