Viviana Alavéz Hipólito (Teotitlán del Valle)

An elegant and friendly woman, creates delicately elaborated candles with a velvet touch.  Her son José and daughter-in-law Petra work closely with her.  Assemblages of glorious flowers such as roses and “alcatrazes” (callas lilies), fruit such as apples, pomegranates and limes, and birds envelop the dignified, slender candles she creates entirely by hand.  They range in size from table decorations to those nearly a yard high for use in religious processions.

Colors may be single tone or multi-tone. The creation of flower decorations is begun with a “mold.” This is actually a hand-made process. The bottom half of a small jug is momentarily dipped into a pot of hot melted wax, and immediately immersed in a pot of cold water.  The resulting hemisphere is removed from the jug, thus the “mold.”  This piece is variously cut with a scissor to form the beginnings of petals that are further shaped by hand.

One layer is placed inside another to replicate the configuration of a flower.   Some candles have paper portions that are also created by the artisan.


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The PBS Peabody award winning documentary series "Craft in America" filmed portions of two excellent upcoming programs in Oaxaca, one -- "Neighbors" -- partially in collaboration with FOFA. These programs explore connections through craft between Mexico and the United States.

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Oaxacan Popular Arts in the New Millennium, Nurturing Young Artists

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