Posts made in June, 2014

Wood Sculptors in San Antonio de Ibarra

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Wood Sculptors in San Antonio de Ibarra

Visiting a wood sculpting shop across from the central plaza in San Antonio de Ibarra was an unforgettable experience.  There were towering classically carved figures -most created for great cathedrals,  numerous sculpted works of art including human figures, angels and animals amidst the scent of cedar wood and piles of wood shavings on the workshop floor. Here we were shown the carving process from rough through successive refinements.  We were shown how the sculptors work with exact classic proportions, how repairs are made to centuries old statues, how glass eyes are made for the sculptures and how gold leaf is...

Read More

Armando Buitron, Ecuadorian Artist

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Blog | 2 comments

Armando Buitron, Ecuadorian Artist

Armando Buitron is a painter and creator of embossed paper art.  A group led by myself and Diego Buitron (Armando’s brother)  visited his studio in May 2014  during an art tour through San Antonio de Ibarra. Armando teaches art in Quito, and sells his work in the famous Plaza de Ponchos in the town of Otavalo. During our visit Armando demonstrated making paper pulp which sometimes takes as long as 45 minutes of grinding the wet paper into pulp on a large stone basin. Next the pulp is rolled between two sheets of thin plastic to form sheets.  Once the sheets are made they are pressed onto molds to create the finished product....

Read More

Ceramic Production Studio

Posted by on Jun 13, 2014 in Blog | 1 comment

Ceramic Production Studio

Hands are never without work in San Antonio de Ibarra, a mountainside village overlooking the city of Ibarra in Ecuador’s Imbabura provence.  In May 2014 Circle on the Square teamed up with Ecuadorian painter Diego Buitron  who graciously helped us find our way through San Antonio’s roads to find places hard to discover by anyone unfamiliar with the village.  We traveled to a workshop where the artisans create pots and bakeware by hand using molds. First the clay is mined, but as we found out it is  actually not clay that is taken from the deposit areas, but large rocks that must be carried in strong sacks, put on  a truck  and delivered to the workshop to begin the process of creating the clay.  The large rocks must be pulverized and ground down to a powder before water is added to make the proper consistency for pressing the clay into molds. Exactly the right amount of water must be used or the process will not be successful. The artisans know from years in the business how to arrive at the proper consistency. When the clay is ready it is pressed into molds and then workers use a series of tools as well as their fingers to shape and smooth the inside of each vessel.  Once the piece is completely shaped each mold is placed in the sun to dry for a day or two before the clay dries enough to easily be released from its plaster mold.  The pieces are then fired. While there once were hundreds of such studios in generations past, only two studios remain active in San Antonio de Ibarra at present day.  The studio is a family owned business which manufactures pots and cookware for custom orders by hotels and restaurants.  Few people get to tour the studio, so I felt quite privileged to be allowed to visit and I think our tour group enjoyed the place as much as I did.              ...

Read More