Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Guadalupe Hermosillo: Master of old style Ironsmith

Since the XVII Century old buildings in the Colonial city of San Cristobal de las Casas Chiapas have been decorated with big iron crosses on top of there roofs. Usually those crosses have several figures like a ruster, a hearth, a leader, a snake, a balance and so on, each one of them has a meaning and all they represent the passion of Christ (Hearth=Sacred hearth of Christ, rooster=Peters denial, snake=temptation, balance=justice, the leader to bring down Jesus from the Cross, the lance that the Roman soldier used, etc).
My first approach to one of these crosses (before visiting San Cristobal) was 3 years ago at the new National Museum of Mexican Folk Art in Mexico City know as MAP (Museo de Arte Popular), behind glass there lies a huge cross with all those symbols made by Great Master of Mexican Folk Art Guadalupe Hermosillo. 2 years ago I was lucky enougth to meet him in person at his studio in San Cristobal de las Casas. He its a great person, very humble men who likes to work hard and to do things as perfect as possible, for example: his new crosses are much more sophisticated compared to the one at the book Great Masters of Mexican Folk Art (now each bar of iron its actually made of 2 twisted bars that look like one, making double work just to give the optical illusion of one bar), another example its that he likes to keep working the same way as in the old days, each and every joint are made with rivets, my guess its that 99.99% of modern ironsmiths only know how to make soldered joints instead of using rivets.
He its also very reliable of special orders, one time he made for me a custom cross just to hold in front of it a wood cross with a straw mosaic by Guillermo Olay, he ended up making an amazing job!!. I hope to post a photo of it some day. See you on the next post!.
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