Enedina Seferina Vásquez Cruz, Sta. María Atzompa, Oaxaca

Enedina Seferina Vásquez Cruz, Sta. María Atzompa, Oaxaca

Enedina Seferina Vásquez Cruz was awarded the "Premio Pantaleón Panduro" in 2013 Premio Nacional de la Cerámica de Tlaquepaque by President Enrique Peña Nieto. In 1985 the "Premio Pantaleón Panduro" was created to honour a special Mexican expert for his creativity and excellence in his artistic endeavours.

Enedina, said in an interview that one of the areas in which artisans need help is in completing the necessary documentation to enter competitions, visit other countries, etc. With this national award, she admits that this is "a big step" for her career as the artisan's life is a very difficult one.

President Nieto said that his visit to Tlaquepaque was a promise he made in his campaign to support the artisans of Mexico. Mexico is rich in its crafts and the artists who create with their hands, minds and hearts project peace and tranquility to the rest of the world.

Enedina Vasquez Cruz reconstructs history in clay, forming terracotta figures with regional religious and national themes from Oaxaca. She takes pride in breaking tradition by creating new designs and techniques that have won acclaim in the ceramic world. Her growing reputation is due in large part to the appreciation for her female figures dressed in the traditional costumes of the seven regions of Oaxaca. She also makes pieces with two aspects, for example, a double-image sculpture depicting the birth of Mexico on one side and the locally venerated Virgin of Solitude on the other.

 She makes her own work from start to finish. The two-tone coloring for which she is so well known, she achieves by using various clays. She colors the natural clay with tones made from a variety of other clays, some used because they have been used for years and she chooses that tradition. Her work is graceful and sensitive and labor intensive, making her pieces unique and highly collectible.

 Enedina distinguishes between artisans and artists. She believes that the latter require more experience in life and she considers herself an artist. Her work is inspired by her dreams. She hopes that her daughters will learn her art form and follow in her footsteps and continue to impress collectors with innovations.

Enedina's creations span a wide range: from small, ethereal, yet spirited angels to majestic female figures and large sculptural compositions. Due to their complexity and detail, they can take up to four weeks to create. Angelica refers to the pieces as "Complete Themes", in which they convey their interpretations of historical and contemporary themes. Although her artistic expression is achieved through ancient folk art techniques, her themes can often be considered "modern".

Her use of two types of clay contribute to the variable texture and coloring - when unpainted. She did, however, develop natural substances, agobes, which are additional sources of color. Agobes take a long time to make. Agobe is clay-based and coloured with natural substances, such as volcanic ash and stone. Some change color when fired, while others do not change color. For example, green becomes ecru and if baked otherwise becomes gray and another may be blue-white.

Calle Libertad S/N

Sta. María Atzompa, Oaxaca

951 545 9417