Irma Claudia García Blanco, Santa Marîa Atzompa, Oaxaca
Working in the tradition of her mother, Teodora Blanco Núñez, Irma is known for her "muñecas" (female figures) but also creates altars, angels, virgins, nacimientos (nativity scenes) and mermaids.
Irma began working in clay at six years of age sitting by her mother's side. As a young girl she made only small objects. Today some of her pieces are "gigantic".
Her technique in creating her muñecas (female figures) is to start with the shirt that serves as a base. After drying for three to four hours, she turns the piece upside down and begins adding the torso, arms and head. Her son and six daughters assist her in this process. Finally, "pastillaje" decoration and carving is added - flowers, designs that are laid on to the larger piece.
Irma's larger figures take approximately 8 days to complete and then an additional 15 days to dry and three hours in the oven. Her work is almost exclusively in natural terra cotta colors, although she will do special orders upon request.
Irma hopes that her family will continue on with the family tradition and in fact, in a concurso (judged art show) in Mexico City, mother and daughter were awarded first and second prizes respectively.
Irma, like many other folk artisans, sells her work from her home and a cooperativa (ceramic marketplace) in Atzompa, Oaxaca. The tourism that Oaxacan artists rely on for their livelihoods has been in jeopardy over the last year and a half due to civil unrest and travel bans that have kept the tourists away. Bringing Irma to Feria Maestros del Arte along with other folk artists from Oaxaca will hopefully open the eyes of Feria-goers to the fact that Oaxaca is once again a safe place to travel and seek out the art that Oaxaca has become famous for.
Av. Juárez #302
Santa Marîa Atzompa, Oaxaca