A colorful 'Tree of Death,' by artist Saul Montesinos, handcrafted from clay in the style typical of the state of Puebla: bold colors, blunt detail, fine brushstrokes. The base of the tree is represented by a large calavera, on the branches of the sit smaller skulls and crows. Three inserts for small tapers along the top of the piece may or may not be used. A popular Day of the Dead piece. As each 'Tree of Death' is unique, colours will most likely vary.
Approximately 7.5" tall
Handmade in Mexico.
About Saul Monesinos
Nestled in the isolated hills of the state of Puebla in central Mexico, is the little town of Izucar the Matamoros. As the Catrina quickly took fame in the early 1900’s and became a staple in the Mexican art world, an artisan by the name of Castillo began crafting from clay with metal, pieces that would rapidly be noticed and coveted by collectors worldwide. Castillo has since passed away.
But, as it is in most small towns, budding apprentices who sometimes helped create and finish off such pieces branched out to become masters themselves. Such is the example of the young artist, Saul Montesinos.
Saul Montesinos has been creating Day of the Dead pieces from clay in the similar manner of the Castillo work for as long as he can remember. He first began his work as a young boy in his father’s workshop, as is the case of most artisan families in Mexico. But, as his father aged, Saul took over the family business. He is now well known in Mexico for the type of pieces that are created only in Izucar.
The artwork of Izucar is different from most, and it does not take a trained eye to notice the discrepancies between it and Day of the Dead work from other areas of Mexico. The art pieces of Izucar are bulky by nature lacking the finesse of other existing clay work. The range of colors used is usually very similar. But what sets these pieces apart from most is the characteristic geometric detail found painted on the pieces. When one looks closer, it is fascinating to see the effort made to individualize each and every piece created.
“One must have a good set of eyes and a steady hand to do this type of work” says Montesinos. “Not everyone can master the skill it takes to paint these pieces."