This beautiful candle holder comes to us from Santa Cruz de las Hurtas, a suburb of Tonala, Mexico, know for making "barro betus," which is a form of glazed pottery whose patina was originally made with the resin of a pine tree called "betus." This piece is a "tree of life" candle holder featuring Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, and is made by master potter Gerardo Ortega Lopez: "Gerardo Ortega is well known for his Arboles de la Vida (Trees of Life). His teacher was his father, Eleuterio Ortega Hernandez, and his grandmother, Natividad Hernandez. Gerardo is the 4th generation to work with barro betus. The process begins with 'tortillando' or kneading the clay into unique shapes. The kiln is readied and fires pieces created several days before. Before firing, the clay is black. The pieces have to be dried in the open air before baking them or they will explode. The firing is done at a very low temperature compared to other types of ceramics. Each figure is rubbed with birch oil just before firing, giving them a lacquered appearance once finished. Kilns are simple brick holes covered with old tiles." This piece had one leaf replaced, and it has a chip at the base that either was there pre-painting (as it has been painted over) or may have been painted over by a previous owner.
The piece measures just over 9-1/2" tall by about 10-1/2" wide at the widest point, and on a 2-3/4" in diameter base. Holds three candles. The frame is brightly colored in an orangeish red, almost a tomato red. There is one small pre-painting chip at the base, not readily visible yet you can feel it. Also, some of the leaves are loose on the wires yet still stay on.
Fabulous festive piece.
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