Alicia Ascención Juan, Puacuaro, Michoacán
Alicia Ascención Juan is an energetic and prolific chuspata (dried lake grass) artisan from Puácuaro, Michóacan. She began working with chuspata baskets at age 10, learning from her mother and grandmother. Her grandmother created straw mats, flowers, baskets and fans. Her mother continues to make baskets.
Alicia is unique in that she is the only woman that weaves and also does her own soldering of the frameworks for larger pieces. She jokes that between learning to fish from her father and wanting to do the soldering herself “I thought I was a man”.
She specializes in fantastic straw animals including horses, pigs, flies, fish, grasshoppers, turtles, chipmunks, hummingbirds and a wide variety of utilitarian items such as baskets, purses, and chests with an artistic flare in a variety of sizes.
Alicia is creative and enthusiastic about continuing both tradition but also to evolve her artistry by tackling special orders. She is accompanied by her daughter, Belén de la Cruz Ascensión, age 20. They will be bringing work from their family workshop which includes her mother, her sister, cousins and daughter.
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