Another day in Oaxaca I visited the Prudencio family, woodcarvers and painters. The whole family is involved in this enterprise: father, sons, daughters, son’s wives, nephews and neighbors. They reside in the village of San Agustin de la Juntas, near Oaxaca city on a dirt road. The wood they use is copal which is soft when green and easy to carve but dries very hard without warping or cracking. The men carve using a machete and smaller knives and the women do the painting. After carving someone, usually an apprentice, sands the piece under the direction of an adult. When the surface is smooth the works are ready for painting. Small delicate brushes are used with acrylic paint to achieve the incredible details associated with this art form.
A young man sat in a beach chair carving copal wood while another stood near the door going over and over another piece with sandpaper. The black and white bear above is one large example of their work. Below is a group shot of the table that met us in their courtyard. Featured is a horned buck with a mother deer and a fawn nearby. I am not a cat lover but that is what I came home with from this studio – it was tie between the cat and a penguin.