Silvano Aguirre & Saturnino Muñoz, Jalosotitlan, Jalisco

Silvano Aguirre & Saturnino Muñoz, Jalosotitlan, Jalisco

Silvano Aguirre and Saturnino Muñoz, live and work in the state of Jalisco, Mexico, where their families have been working with wood for generations. During the 19th century many families in their village practiced the traditional art of inlay. This tradition had been lost, when Silvano's father, Francisco decided to revive it, thus rescuing it from extinction. He taught his sons, Silvano and Francisco, to "listen to the voice of the wood" and how to make the tools necessary to transform mahogany or juniper into true pieces of art.

Inlaying is a meticulous craft, where the artisan delicately removes a bit of mahogany or sabino, which is then tattooed with copalillo or orange wood. The mahogany comes from the state of Chiapas or Guatemala. Sometimes Silvano covers the mahogany with some other laminated wood to achieve a different effect.

First, the design selected for the piece is drawn on the wood and paper molds are made. The molds are used to cut the design into thin leaves of walnut, bark, arbutus, eucalyptus, juniper, orange wood, lime or white willow. To make the small cuts, Silvano uses a Singer firing machine to which he has adapted a blade instead of a needle.

Then, the mahogany or juniper surface where the design will be placed is worked by removing the parts where the inlay will be made later. A chisel is used to cut approximately one centimeter deep. The inlays are polished with sand to smooth the edges.

Once everything has been cut and carved, the inlays are ready to be placed in the design previously cut into the surface of the wood. Glue is applied with tweezers, and with great care, the pieces are placed. Pressure is applied to ensure that the inlays are in place and securely glued. The edges are flattened, the superfoot is sanded and ready to be varnished.

Silvano and Francisco Aguirre are featured in the book "Grandes Maestros del Arte Popular Mexicano" published by Fomento Cultural Banamex, and have also helped them to perfect the varnishing technique by sending them to different courses.

Silvano creates an incredible variety of inlaid objects - boxes, trunks, desks and frames. All with a beauty that comes from the great love he has for his art.

They have won several awards and recognitions in competitions and state fairs, Silvano has also won awards from the National Institute of Fine Arts, La Casa de las Artesanías de Jalisco and the Fomento Cultural Banamex Award in 1996.

Hidalgo 23, Interior A & Benito Juárez 57

(otro direción: Juarez 96)

Jalosotitlan, Jalisco

431 746 1788 taller, 431 746 2682 casa; 431 101 2117 cell

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