Paper Mache by Andres
Jose Andres Chavez
Jose Andres Chavez
Andres has a flair for Paper Mache. His pieces express everyday people
from musicians to doctors. His pieces range from 9 inches to 5 feet tall.
Andres takes pride on each of his pieces and is always looking for new
creations and styles. Andres is recognized throughout Mexico. There is no
mistaking Andre’s art work for his attention for detail is present on each
piece. Andres is 50 years old (born in 1958) and has been creating these
pieces for the past 18 years, in Michoacan.
pictures of artisan
& workshop to follow
THIS PAGE A WORK IN
Style 1 & 2
Style one is a
modern interpretation and is very refined, showing actual muscles and
beautiful form. One piece, measures 16" tall overall, base is 3x6"
and figure, with removable club is 10" at widest point. Figure has
Style two is more
traditional - Andres created the skeleton THEN dressed it in a more
traditional looking Jaguar costume (made of stiff canvase). Note:
detail is fine and costume is built-around a finished skeleton (this piece
separates into two pieces at the waist). It is slightly taller at
17" than the top one. The figure lacks sandals. Overall
measures 17" tall, base is 4.75" wide by 3.25" front to back, figure is
10" wide with removable club. $145.00
(usually this one would sell
for $170 but I've priced it the same as the above.. even though its more
work and he charged me more).
Paper Mache Jaguar Warrior
by Jose “Andres”
Andres has a flair
for Paper Mache. His pieces express everyday people from musicians to
doctors as well as historical figures such as this Day of the Dead
(skeleton) Aztec Jaguar Warrior. His pieces range from 9 inches to 5 feet
tall. Andres takes pride on each of his pieces and is always looking for
new creations and styles. Andres is recognized throughout Mexico and is an
award winning artist. There is no mistaking Andre’s art work for his
attention for detail is present on each piece. Andres is 50 years old
(born in 1958) and has been creating these pieces for the past 18 years,
The Day of the Dead
(El Día de los Muertos, Día de los Difuntos or Día de Muertos in Spanish)
is a traditional holiday in Mexico and many South American countries.
Based on ancient Aztec mingled with Christian beliefs, this celebration of
the memory of deceased ancestors is celebrated beginning at dusk on
October 31st through November 1 (All Saints Day) and November 2 (All
Souls' Day). While the dates overlap, it is not connected with Halloween,
although it shares some historical origins. This holiday is quickly
gaining popularity in America and could be considered "the new American
(French for 'chewed-up paper' due to its appearance), sometimes called
paper-mâché, is a construction material that consists of pieces of paper,
sometimes reinforced with textiles, stuck together using a wet paste
(e.g., glue, starch, or wallpaper adhesive). The crafted object becomes
solid when the paste dries.
is the substance that holds the paper together. The traditional method of
making papier-mâché paste is to use a mixture of water and flour or other
starch, mixed to the consistency of heavy cream. While any adhesive can be
used if thinned to a similar texture, such as polyvinyl acetate wood glue,
the flour and water mixture is the most economical. Adding oil of cloves
or other additives to the mixture reduces the chances of the product
developing mold. The paper is cut or torn into strips, and soaked in the
paste until saturated. The saturated pieces are then placed onto the
surface and allowed to dry slowly; drying in an oven can cause warping or
other dimensional changes during the drying process. The strips may be
placed on an armature, or skeleton, often of wire mesh over a structural
frame, or they can be placed on an object to create a cast. Oil or grease
can be used as a release agent if needed. Once dried, the resulting
material can be cut, sanded and/or painted, and waterproofed by painting
with a suitable water repelling paint.
When the Spaniards
arrived in Mexico they faced armies of elite Aztec warriors, primarily the
fierce rival castes of Eagle and Jaguar warriors resplendent in their
warlike apparel. While Spanish military methods and tactics prevailed, the
memories - and myths - of the ancient warrior castes remained in the folk
explicit pictorial references to the Eagle and Jaguar castes were
permitted in post conquest art and discourse, there are some exceptions:
notably the sculptures and especially the murals of the 16th century
Augustinian monastery of Ixmiquilpan.
A pair of carved
stone escutcheons on the church facade prepare the visitor for the
dramatic painted walls of the nave. Surprisingly, both escudos feature
pre-hispanic imagery without reference to Christian symbols.
Eagles and jaguars
with plumed headdresses and bearing war shields, or chimalli, flank Aztec
symbols, and appear to be engaging in a dialogue with speech scrolls
issuing from their mouths.
Behind the sculpted
limestone facade lies a treasury of 16th century frescoes (fresco secco)
unique in Mexican mural art. Beneath the choir, fragmentary murals show
facing Eagle and Jaguar warriors engaged in dialogue, probably prior to
combat, reiterating the images of the facade.
sequence of battle murals unfold in enormous friezes that stretch along
both sides of the nave. Eagle, jaguar and coyote warriors dressed in
pelts, foliated robes and plumed helmets engage in a bloody confrontation,
decapitating each other with their obsidian edged swords against a
backdrop of giant foliage. Along the north wall, warriors do battle with
bizarre supernaturals, including figures of pregnant women emerging from
huge acanthus buds.
significance of these dynamic and colorful murals has been much debated,
their theme may reflect the turbulent 1570s, when Ixmiquilpan was under
constant attack from nomadic Chichimec tribesmen. The Chichimecs were
finally repelled by the settled Otomí Indians of the area in a decisive
battle, viewed at the time as the triumph of Christianity over paganism.
These frescoes may
commemorate this victory, and explain why such an unorthodox, pre-hispanic
style would have been permitted by the friars in a Christian church,
although it is possible that they also represent a more ancient Otomi
ritual - a remarkable survival almost 50 years after the Spanish conquest.
The scenes stand in stark contrast to traditional monastic murals of the
time - usually monochromatic and devoted to biblical subjects - some of
which, illustrating Christ's Passion, can be seen in the sacristy at
(Classical Nahuatl: ocēlōtl) were certain members of the Aztec army that
were professional soldiers. These soldiers would be classified as special
forces with the distinction of either jaguar or eagle warriors. These two
motifs were used due to the belief that the eagle and jaguar represented
Huitzilopochtli god of the sun and Tezcatlipoca god of the night sky
respectively. The Jaguar Warriors were used as warriors and the
battlefront in military campaigns, whereas Eagle Warriors were scouts,
spies and messengers. There are many Pre-Columbian statues and images of
these warriors in codices.
When a boy was born
his umbilical cord was cut off and dried and then buried on a battle field
signifying that his life would be dedicated to warfare. Every able bodied
boy was trained to fight. Soldiers were ordinary people for the most part,
with the exception of the Jaguar and Eagle warriors, often members of
royalty who acted as professional soldiers and scouts.
A vital part of
everyday life for the Aztecs was warfare. All able body men were trained
to be warriors. In readiness for adult life boys learned about fighting
and weapons at school. To fight in battle was considered a duty and an
honor. Warriors helped teach in the calmecacs. The warriors took the
students to the wars and taught him how to take a prisoner captive. A boy
became a man after he captured his first prisoner.
The Aztec's courage
and strength helped them build their empire and establish themselves as
the fiercest of all the tribes in the Valley of Mexico. They easily
defeated attacks from neighboring tribes. Declarations of war were greeted
with joy; it was seen by Aztec warriors as a time to show their skills in
battle. Soldiers dressed in costumes designed to scare their enemies such
as the jaguar warriors who wore ocelot skins and eagle warriors who wore a
helmet shaped like the beak of a bird of prey. Ordinary troops wore
costumes decorated with patterns and had war emblems made from feathers
A site was chosen
for the battle and the armies met. The fighting began after insults and
more cries were called out and drums and conch shell trumpets were played.
Then the fighting began. The battle was usually short and ended with the
surrender of the weaker side and the taking of prisoners.
The plan was to
disable an opponent by striking at his leg so he could be easily taken
prisoner. Thus, the battles left very little casualties. After the battle
the enemies' town was looted and the people were captured. Prisoners were
the real war trophies since they were used as sacrifices in religious
festivals. Soldiers sometimes demanded death as their right after they had
been captured. A soldier became part of a family and was treated like a
son until it was time for him to be sacrificed.
Aztec jaguar and
eagle warriors were members of the nobility. Their elaborate costumes were
worn to show the wearer's strength and importance in the Aztec society.
The warrior's leather or wooden shield was decorated with brightly colored
feathers. Below the warrior's shield hung leather strips to protect his
legs. Their wooden clubs were edged with extremely sharp blades of
obsidian. A thong held the club to their wrists.
The Aztecs and
their enemies used spears, slings, bows, and arrows to fight at close
range. Razor sharp blades were chipped from obsidian and mounted on
weapons. A freshly made obsidian blade was sharper than the Spaniards
steel swords. But, obsidian blades soon lost their edge and were easily
broken. The Spaniards used steel swords, guns, and cannons that could take
out many Aztecs at a time. The Aztecs wore close-fitting breastplates and
used wooden shields for protection. The Spaniards armor was better suited
for fighting in Europe, the Aztecs' lightweight breastplates were
sometimes substituted for their hot and heavy metal armor.
1731 L ST
(916) 443 5601