Another Trip to Volcan

15 Feb

Took another trip to Volcan yesterday with Joe and Linda Hart. Linda had seen a ‘Souvenir’ shop on the way into the town, and wanted to stop in to see more. What a surprise! The man who runs it, Arte Cruz, creates most all of the art being sold was there, spent quite some time with us. He does wood carving…..a very high end product. He made a ‘name plate’ for the Hart’s while we watched (video of some of it follows). In talking with him he trained in Italy for some time. If I understood correctly working on stone carving…statues, etc. Then he spent a period in Honduras, but I believe has been outside Volcan for a long time. He has an open area with displays of work for sale, and in the next room back are stacks of wood, some aged 35-40 years. He showed us a door he’s working on with both sides carved ($1500 per side). Here’s a ‘poor’ photo of one side:
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Here’s a couple of the other smaller carvings. The one in the middle of the first picture is nearly a foot deep from front to back, and creates a 3 dimensional ‘view’ with branches and flowers projecting out. It is shown in more detail in the professional video below. Most of the art was carved in relief, more or less flat but raised from the surface. These are from one piece of wood, and not items cut out and glued on:
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This is an unfinished ‘relief’ project:
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Here’s a video I took of him working on Joe & Linda’s placquard. There was no ‘penciling’ in letters, etc. Just two guide lines the width of the board, and his use of the mallet and chisles. A young man, assistant or apprentice took the completed carving, added black paint to the letters, red to the flower, and clear coated the finished product….all done in about 25 minutes.
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He has an amazing free-form ‘slab’ table he’s made from over 300 individual pieces of Panamanian wood….I think it was over 80 varieties.
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And he uses a ‘dremel’ like tool with a bit to ‘etch’ glass. Here’s photos of one he did for Cleo:

Arte Cruz working on Cleo's glass.

Arte Cruz working on Cleo’s glass.

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This is a professional video I found on YouTube, with a lengthy interview in Spanish, but if you turn down the sound, and fast forward thru a bit you’ll see more of his work.

And a final video done by a Dad and his son of the area and the shop. You’ll see his daughter carving too, obviously carrying on the trade:
[Sorry this You Tube video is no longer available)

 

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