Martin Ibarra - Sculptor Magnificat

Trip Start Apr 27, 2012
Trip End May 26, 2012

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What I did
Martin Iberra - Magnificat Sculptor

Flag of Mexico  , Jalisco,
Thursday, May 24, 2012

Today's adventure was one of the reasons we came to Mexico.   Our new friends Don and Dale from Texas asked us to join them on their trip to San Juan Evangalista to pick up Dale's birthday present.  It seems last November, they had the opportunity to meet with Martin Iberra who is a sculptor recognized by the Museo Nacional de la Ceramica of Guadalajara.  When Don said that he got Dale a sculpture of the Virgin Mary, I    What I envisioned was a clay statute with a cross and a baby, who'd have thought.

The drive itself was a little adventure having gotten lost on some of the local roads to San Juan Evangalista, however, it was good that Dale had a pretty good command of Spanish as the GPS really didn't help.  What I thought about Mr. Ibarra's "studio" would look like, was no where near what we experienced when we arrived at his adobe home.  Martin's father, Sixto was a very respected Mexican ceramics sculptor who passed along his art to his son Martin.  

Martin, led us into his home/studio but cautioned us in Mexican to close the door so as not to let the chickens, rooster and little chicks out on to the street   This place was grass roots Mexican.  Deb and I love this, part of the main reason for us coming to Mexico was to explore a new culture and this was definitely off the beaten path.  Don had taken us to the "pit dining" place earlier in our visit, so he's kind of famous for finding these out-of-the-way places.

You can see Martin's studio from the pictures below, even his kiln was very basic and fired not by electricity but by wood picked up from the various fields surrounding his casa.  I'm not quite sure what this birthday present would have cost NOB, but I would suggest big bucks.   These Virgin Mary statues (14 different designs) take him 3 - 4 weeks depending on the season to make start to finish and he charges $3,200P or about $260.00US.   My guess is that these would be well over $1K NOB.

We were there for well over two hours while Martin took the time not only to explain his art, but to show us as well.   We purchased three bird whistles from him, after he showed us a ball of black clay - right through to final (before he fired the piece) design on these small but very Mexican bird/water whistles.  In my mind a good deal at $2.40US each.  

From there Martin took us to the church right next door to his home that was constructed in the 1700's by the indigenous people.   He actually spoke to the construction and design of the facade, drawing all but the entire front of the church in the sand, explaining what some of the symbols and design of the church really meant.   If you had to pay for this day, it would have been cheap at twice the price.  

From there we headed off to lunch to the Early Bird Cafe in downtown Ajijic.  Rick the proprietor is an old rock n' roller who claims to have the best hamburger SOB (south of the border).  Our original intent was to go there for the Rueben's, but Deb changed her mind at the last minute and went with the burger and fries.   Prior to coming we all jumped in the car and went to Don and Dale's new home in Los Altoyos that they'll be moving into at the end of May.  

Dinner tonight is Tango (third time since being here) as it's the best FLAP steak in town with a total expected tonight of about 16.

Stay tuned - more to come and only a few days to get done.
Bob & Deborah.


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Tom on

Martin, phoned me in Canada after you left and told me he actually expected to sell you a $500 US statue. After you bought the 3 whistles he said "aye carumba" but we can only know what that means after looking in our working version of Rosetta Stone.

Three of you readers will be getting whistles for Christmas.

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