Noah's Ark Fired and Painted Ceramic Ark
Juan Jose Ramos Medrano
Ht 14" x W. 12" x D. 6"
Originally, the town of Santa Cruz de las Huertas produced hand-made sewer pipe and roof tiles. But around 1900, a man named Julian Acero realized he could have more fun with the clay and began creating toys, whistles, and banks. He was the first person to paint the clay with bright colors. Julian took a young boy in the neighborhood, Candelario Medrano, into his family, and taught him how to work with the clay. Eventually, Medrano developed his own unique style and a great range of sculptural items, with almost no end to his imagination. By the 1960s and 70s, Candelario Medrano was considered one of Mexico’s most original and famous folk artists, and his work was widely collected.
Candelario’s son Serapio, and his grandson, Juan José Ramos Medrano, who has won a number of national competitions for his work, actively carry forward the family traditions today with an even greater range of items, often with a humorous edge, like pregnant chickens, people riding in the back of a pick up truck, a fat saucy mermaid, or a friendly little monster.
Medrano is married to the great granddaughter of Julian Acero.
In contrast to the finer glazed art of nearby Tonala, this work is more sculptural, is brightly painted, and is finished with a patina, originally made from the resin of a pine tree, called betus. The ware gets its name from this finish and is called “barro betus.”