Ignacio García Rosales, San Lucas Evangalista, Tlajomulco, Jalisco

Ignacio García Rosales, San Lucas Evangalista, Tlajomulco, Jalisco

Ignacio Garcia Rosales, now in his mid-40s, has been carved from volcanic basalt rock for most of his life. Using rudimentary tools, Ignacio chips away at a rock, allowing the rock itself to tell him what shape it will take. Working with the hammer and chisel is second nature to this artist, whose carved pieces are some of the best of their kind. He uses a stone to rub the pieces when he is finished to make them smooth, and this is where the quality of his work surpasses that of others. His molcajetes (mortars and pestle and pestle hands) are ready to use, without worrying about chunks of rock from skipping to crushing peppers for your sauce! Ignacio is married but has no children of his own, so he is passing on his knowledge to his three nephews.

Basalt is the most common rock found on the face of the Earth. It covers about 70% of the planet's surface, including most of the ocean floor. It is an extrusive volcanic rock, "extrusive" referring to the mode of its formation, in which hot magma from the Earth's interior is either ejected to the surface as lava or explodes more violently into the atmosphere to fall as pyroclastics or tuff. This event is opposed to intrusive rock formation, in which magma does not reach the surface. Basalt is generally gray to black in color and fine-grained, due to the rapid cooling of lava at the surface.

The tradition of basalt carving is believed to have begun in Mexico with the Olmec people of the Gulf Coast in the second millennium BC, if not earlier. Many Aztec sculptures from the time of the Conquest survive, despite widespread destruction by the Spaniards, who consider them to be pagan idols.

Cinco de Mayo #3

San Lucas Evangalista, Tlajomulco, Jalisco

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