Javier Hernández Flores, Tenancingo, Mexico
Son of the renowned Apolinar Hernández Balcázar, Javier Hernández Flores is carrying on the tradition begun by his father of basket weaving. When it is time to begin work, Javier chooses a cool spot in which to sit. He knows that in basket weaving his hands must undertake an ongoing dialog with the stalks of sauce, sabino, romerillo, chocolatero or tlatixtlacote.
Everything begins with the separation of the material into bunches of similar lengths and thickness. He either purchases the material or gathers what he needs in the countryside. The first step is to put them to soak thoroughly in water so that they become more flexible and easier to work with in the weaving.
Javier weaves with his hands, but depending on the piece, may also use his feet. As the piece begins to take shape, he usually rests the work on his legs.
The principal elements that he weaves are the wall, the rim and the center. It is in the first two of these elements where the skill and creativity of the artisan can be observed.
In order to create diverse motifs in the baskets, many combinations of materials and weaves can be utilized. In this manner, the artist demonstrates his mastery of the technique and his knowledge of the raw materials that he chooses so as to make his pieces special. The decorative motifs may be diagonal, crossed, geometric, triangular, square or zigzag, among others.
In basket weaving, more care is given to the visible outside surface, which contains the decoration. Defects in the material and knots are concealed inside the basket.
Sometimes Javier will combine materials containing bark to add a beautiful contrast of colors and texture. Other times, he creates ornamentation with other designs woven separately and attached to the finished pieces either by sewing, such as with braids, or interwoven.
A resident of San Martin Coapaxton, Tenancingo, in the state of Mexico, Javier learned his craft from his father who learned from his father - the craft has been in their family for generations. Apolinar, Javier's father, has set up a workshop in the courtyard of his home. The entire family participates in the production.
The pieces are sold generally in markets throughout the state or from his home to clients or middlemen.
Ignacion Allende S/N
San Martín Coapaxtongo
714 140 3055 or 722 519 9934 cellular