strong matriarchal imagery
ceramicist Angélica Vásquez Cruz has set herself
apart from other sculptors, not only in her hometown of Atzompa,
itself known for a longstanding tradition of villagers handcrafting
fine figures, kitchenware and fanciful forms, but throughout
the central valley of Oaxaca. Since age 7 Angélica
has been innovating and adapting her artform using different
clays and natural substances to produce variations in texture
and color for her unique and thought-provoking pieces.
Atzompa is one of a plethora of quaint little craft towns
which can be visited by travelers to Oaxaca. Its most
often known for the workshops of potters who make green glazed
and pastel colored ceramics. However, as is the case in other
villages peppering the region, on the rarest of occasions
the odd maestro with something truly unique and special to
offer emerges, and in Atzompa, Angélica is that angel.
Angélicas work has been heavily influenced by
her own family as well as Mexican history and legend. Her
belief in the importance and strength of the matriarch in
Oaxacan cultures shines through her work. What immediately
strikes the eye upon entering her showroom, a
small space set aside in her home / workshop, are two important
features of her mastery: the complexity of detail; and flowing
natural movement so rarely captured by her colleagues. Of
peers she has very few.
Atzompa is a 15 minute drive from Oaxaca, easily accessed
by taxi. Angélicas home, on Avenida Independencia,
is several blocks up from the main downtown artisans
market. She or one of her children will warmly welcome tourists
into their charming and quaint world, a well-kept homestead
featuring an abundance of colorful flowering plants, shrubs
and fruit trees.
She can be reached at (951) 558-9061.
Machaya Oaxaca Bed & Breakfast ( http://www.oaxacadream.com
Starkmans Casa Machaya Oaxaca Bed & Breakfast (
) combines the best of bed & breakfast Oaxaca (quaintness
and personal touch) with the comfort and service found in
the best downtown Oaxaca hotels. The Casa Machaya Oaxaca accommodations
have the added advantage of co-owner, Alvin, a Oaxaca destinations
expert for a major international travel website, who provides
Oaxaca tours to both house guests and those lodging elsewhere,
both in downtown Oaxaca and in the surburbs.
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