Family Balbuena / Tree of Life Masters

Izucar de Matamoros, Mexico

With family Balbuena in Izucar de Matamoros, Mexico

The Tree of Life sculptures were the first items that got us hooked on Mexico. These figurative statuettes were used by Catholic missionaries to tell about the Bible. Soon the imagery started to mix with local beliefs and developed into its own art form. This colourful mixing of different worlds keeps amazing us. The family Balbuena Alonso – father, mother and their son – has been making tree of life ceramics for over 40 years. They use clay from the area which they first collect, then filter, ferment and knead. Forming the statuettes is done by hands only. After shape is ready the statuettes are fired and painted in brilliant colours.

Master Rufina Balbuena at work at her studio in Izucar de Matamoros.

Work of the Masters