Wise Man MelchiorRegular price $90.00
*PLEASE NOTE: This item has been discounted because it did not arrive in the proper condition. We were able to glue the pieces together, however there are significant cracks throughout the crown and around the top of his head. Please read the entire description below and review all of the images before purchasing.
***This item is FINAL SALE. DUE TO THE DELICATE NATURE OF THIS ITEM, IT IS NOT ELIGIBLE FOR FREE SHIPPING AND/OR USPS SHIPPING. UPS SHIPPING ONLY.
About the Craft: This wise man was handmade and painted by Israel Soteno, from the Soteno family in Metepec.
It belongs to a nativity set that he created for a contest in Metepec. He did not win the contest; however, we think he should have!
The Soteno family traditionally uses red clay from Metepec to form their designs. After 5 or 6 days of creating each clay piece, the artisans place it in an oven at 650 degrees Farenheit. After the piece dries, it turns into a red-like color, and they handpaint it using aniline paints.
About the Artisans: The Soteno family of Metepec are famous ceramic artisans who specialize in tree of life sculptures. The tradition started with the family's matriarch— Modesta Fernández Mata, who originally started by creating utilitarian pieces. By the 1930s, Modesta explored creating more decorative items, which caught the eye of well-known Mexican artists like Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, who became collectors of her pieces.
During the colonial period, Metepec became well-known for ceramics, blending European and indigenous traditions, they mostly specialized in black and green tabletop items, candleholders, and religious figures.
In the 1940s, Diego Rivera was credited with introducing Metepec to the idea of using new color schemes, which is why the potters of the town began to transform candleholders into tree of life sculptures.
Today, there are four generations of Sotenos who continue to work on this beautiful craft. The family has also won various awards and their art is featured in collections all around the world.
There is also a prestigious contest named after the family matriarch, called the Modesta Fernandez National Pottery and Ceramic Competition, which artisans from all over Mexico participate in.
Each member of the Soteno family has their own style for how they design each piece and which colors of paint they use; however, they continue to use the molds and tools that their grandmother used, some which date as far back as 1896.
Today, their pieces can be found all over museum collections in Mexico, the United States, Canada, Europe, and South Africa.
Their works of art can also be found in private collections, museums, and galleries, all around the world.
About the Piece: This original piece was damaged during transport because customs opened the boxes and did not re-pack the items well. When this item arrived, it was broken at the top of the crown. We had to re-glue the top of the crown. Luckily, we were able to save the piece in its entirety, but there are cracks (see pictures).
Discounted Price: *This item has already been discounted from the original price due to the flaws.
- Dimensions: 7 L x 4.5 W inches
- Red clay
- Aniline paint
*All sales are final. No refunds or exchanges will be given on any purchases at this time.