Carlos Alberto Cardenas Herrera
Apaseo el Alto, Guanajuato

Carlos Alberto Cárdenas Herrera knows that his father placed his faith in the creation of wood crafts as his means to provide for his family, and he was not wrong. Apaseo El Alto, Guanajuato has come to excel in labors concerning the use of wood to create altar pieces, religious objects, and intricately carved pieces. All of their work is treated and fumigated and can easily be shipped outside Mexico.

Carlos works in the family workshop, with his three brothers and his father carving wood sculptures. There are some 150 workshops in operation In Apaseo el Alto  that employ more than 500 artisans, however, this municipality is going through a severe crisis in sales that goes hand in hand with the national and world economies. Only the most veteran artisans and those with dependable buyers from various parts of the Republic are enduring.

In each workshop, all types of carvings can be observed, from the artistic ones that represent sculptures of saints, animals, masks, human figures, fantastic figures with simple and natural or polychrome finish, as well as utilitarian objects such as screens, altarpieces, tables, chairs, the latter with a very special characteristic and normally with antique type finishes.

 This work requires incredible patience to ensure a perfect outcome. Carlos has three projects going at any one time and works on each depending on his mood. If he doesn’t have the right frame of mind, he stops and works on something else — he will never risk  spoiling a piece. Some of the more complicated pieces such as an Archangel can take up to a month to complete.

 The carvers of Apaseo El Alto, as with all artists, are very individualistic in their creativity, and although they compete with each other, they have agreed to organize promotional events for the common benefit by holding a yearly Artisan’s Week.

Adolfo López Mateos #401-A

Apaseo el Alto, Guanajuato

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