There are only about a dozen artists in Michoacán, Mexico still working in the Pre-Columbian lacquer art known in the region as maque, also called embutido, or inlay, where a design is cut into the lacquer background on a gourd or wood. There is an elaborate polishing process involved to achieve a shiny colored base for the floral and animal motifs that will later emerge. Insect fat is boiled, and pine resin and then garlic are added. Beautiful colors are created by using all natural pigments made from cactus worm and a variety of plants and soils. Designs are cut into the base with a needle, and then the pigments and oil are rubbed into the design.
We are proud to offer a small selection of maque pieces here by award-winning Michoacán artisan, Martina Navarro Gonzalez.
This extraordinary maque gourd features traditional designs and incredible detail. It was made using all natural pigments (flowers, minerals etc.) and not only is it gorgeous but it can be used as a container for jewelry or other treasures.
This piece is signed by the artist.
5 inches high, 8 inches diameter