Thursday, April 17, 2008
Handmade Amate Paper
I made the drawing of this horse on a handmade mexican paper, called "papel amate".
Since prehispanic times, the indigenous people of Mexico used to make paper out of a variety of natural fibers. Papel amate can be made from the bark of several types of ficus trees: The macerated bark is placed on a wooden board and beaten repeatedly with a volcanic stone until the fiber releases a sticky substance which holds the resulting pulp together. It is pounded flat and arranged into the shape of sheets, which have uneven edges. Then it is air dried.
The paper has a beautiful, irregular surface and the color can be from very light beige to dark brown.
In the Mexican states of Puebla, Guerrero and Morelos, this paper is used for either monochrome or very colorful, naive paintings, depicting traditional events like weddings, harvests, rodeos etc..