Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Angel Santos: Perfection on Tonala Ceramics

There are 2 artists from Tonala that I like the most, one its Salvador Vazquez, and the other one its Angel Santos, both of them Masters, but very different in style. While Salvador follows a more "naive" and traditional line of decoration, Angel Santos looks for perfection, perfection in its burnished finish and perfection in his very sophisticated decoration, specially in his miniatures.
Angel was born in Zacatecas (as many great Mexican Artists), but moved to Jalisco at a very early age. At age 7 he started his relationship with clay, he was a helper at the Mario Silva studio, folk art its about tradition from one generation to the other the earlier you begin the better, that's what happened to Angel, he felt in love with the craft at a very early age.
While still a teenager Angel Santos opened his own studio, in those days it was difficult to convince folk art store owners that he was the artisan that made those well made ceramics, but with time and hard work he made a name of his own, specially because he was able to do his own designs with new never seen before ideas for his Ceramics.
His quest for perfection brought him to search for professional studies, so he went to school at the Universidad de Guadalajara where he made 2 mayors one in Graphic Design and the other one on Sculpture, this its something very rare to see in a folk art artist because usually they only learn the craft from family tradition.
Besides his skills for the craft, Angel also its a leader in his community, some years ago he formed the non profit organization "Herencia Milenaria" which its a group of Tonala Artisians that joined forces in order to be able to exhibit there ceramics as a collective group outside Mexico. In 2006 his group received from Mexican President Fox the National Award on science and Arts in the folk art category in recognition for work to promote Mexican Ceramics.
If you would like more information on this artist or just to get in touch please write us to mexfolkarts@yahoo.com.mx or check our item by the Tonala Great Masters please click this link: www.losnaguales.com.