Pedro Hernández Cruz, San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato
Despite the French sounding name, papel maché was not made in France until the mid 17th century. However, they were the first country in Europe to do so. Papel maché actually originates from China; the inventors of paper itself. They used papier maché to make helmets, which they toughened by many layers of lacquer.
From China, the interest in papel maché spread to Japan and Persia, where it was used in mask making and festival activities. Eventually it spread across the world. Large imports of papel maché objects swamped European markets. This in turn led France to start making its own wares, and England followed suit in the 1670s.
In Mexico many papel maché applications have to do with religion and superstition. During the Holy Week before Easter, "Judas dolls" are made. At the Christmas season, the children play with "piñatas". On Día de los Muertos or the Day of the Dead, the Mexicans fight Death with humor. Brightly coloured miniature skeletons, skulls and coffins in all shapes and sizes are sold for ofrendas (altar) for their departed loved ones.
Pedro Hernandez Cruz makes wonderful home decor items out of papel maché - trays, coasters, napkin rings. Brightly colored with traditional Mexican designs, they add life and color to any home.
His home is in the state of Guanajuato and his factory downstairs is full of papel maché rattles, fruit, veggies, platters, etc. while upstairs his artists paint colorful designs on each piece.
Esparza Oteo #27, Col Guadalupe
San miguel de Allende, Gto 37710
415 152 5182