The first step to craft an alebrije consists in one principle: the selection ofood. Our handcraft artist, mainly work with copal, ayacahuite, fresno and zompantle trees. These trees grow in several areas of our country, mostly in the southern region of Mexico where Oaxaca, Chiapas, Guerrero and Michoacan are located.
El árbol de copal es el más utilizado para la producción de alebrijes. Esto obedece a la flexibilidad y fácil manejo de esta madera.
El artesano selecciona una parte del árbol y “visualiza” la pieza que puede crear con ese trozo de madera.
In many cases, all the creatures that had dreamed or picture in their nightmares inspire the handcraft artist. All the alebrijes are the product of their imagination, which gives a magical and mystical touch to each creation.
They start by removing the excess of raw material and mold it with a special machete (big knife). Later, with a sharp knife, the craftsman/woman makes precise cuts to give shape to the animal, mask or face that the alebrije will have.
Dependiendo de la pieza, el artesano utiliza resina orgánica para llenar algunos espacios y darle forma a los detalles más precisos. Cuando la resina está completamente seca, el artesano lija toda la pieza para eliminar cualquier imperfección y suavizar la textura de la pieza.
Once the piece is completely carved and sanded, it is ready for the painting and coloring process.
To paint the alebrije, all our artisans use organic paintings. Very often they make the paint themselves. They also make brushes of diverse materials, like maguey thorns to delineate the smallest details.
The designs and color selection are inspired by the Oaxacan culture. The painting technique often imitates the textile patterns of the prehispanic cultures, the endemic flora of the region and many times the designs are exclusive creations of each artist.