Visit VanDusen Botanical Garden and spend time with Ángelica as she demonstrates to the class. Each participant will receive materials to carve a small figure from clay using some of her techniques. For those who do not speak Spanish, you will have an opportunity to ask Ángelica questions through an interpreter. This class is for ceramic artists of all skill levels and an opportunity to spend time with a master ceramicist.
Ángelica Vasquez Cruz
is from Santa María Atzompa, Oaxaca. She works natural clay with red, white and black colors from natural earth substances, fired in a traditional kiln.
Since age 7 Angélica has been innovating and adapting her art form using different clays and natural substances to produce variations in texture and colour for her unique and thought-provoking pieces. Angélica’s work has been heavily influenced by her own family as well as Mexican history and legend. Her belief in the importance and strength of the matriarch in Oaxacan cultures shines through her work.
Angélica’s creations encompass a wide spectrum: small ethereal but spirited angels, to majestic female figures and large sculptural compositions. Due to their complexity and detail, the latter can take up to four weeks to create. She refers to such pieces as “temas completas” (complete themes), in that they convey her interpretations of historical and contemporary subjects, such as the Mexican Revolution or the Abastos market (usually the largest market in a town).
Although her artistic expression is achieved through old folk arts techniques, her themes can often be considered “modern.” Her use of two types of clay contribute to texture and varying coloration – they are unpainted. She has, however, developed natural substances, agobes, that are additional sources of color. Agobes are very time-consuming to make, based in clay and colored with natural substances such as volcanic ash and stone. Some change color when fired, while others do not. For example, green becomes beige and another type becomes gray if fired one way, and blue-white if fired another way.