San An­to­nio de Iba­rra Ta­llan­do su fa­ma / chi­se­ling away

Nan Magazine - - IBARRA -

San An­to­nio de Iba­rra es un pue­blo muy pe­que­ño, só­lo un pu­ña­do de ca­lles, pe­ro a ca­da es­qui­na uno en­cuen­tra al­gu­na sa­la de ex­po­si­ción, o sim­ple al­ma­ce­na­mien­to, de cien­tos y cien­tos de ta­llas de ma­de­ra. A só­lo 5 km. al oes­te de Iba­rra, es­te pue­blo apa­ren­te­men­te adop­tó el ofi­cio co­mo con­se­cuen­cia del te­rre­mo­to de 1868 que ha­bría des­tro­za­do a Iba­rra. En esos años, Da­niel Re­yes apren­dió a re­cu­pe­rar imá­ge­nes y es­cul­tu­ras de las igle­sias, y trans­mi­tió su co­no­ci­mien­to a tra­vés de la po­bla­ción. Hoy, Luis Po­to­sí es uno de los más acla­ma­dos ta­lla­do­res, tra­ba­jan­do tan­to pie­zas tra­di­cio­na­les co­mo abs­trac­tos inusua­les, en su ga­le­ría-ta­ller, fren­te a la pla­za prin­ci­pal. Api­la ma­de­ra en una bo­de­ga y al mi­rar ca­da pie­za sien­te que le hablan. Al­gu­nos son ga­tos, otros san­tos, otros la Vir­gen y el Ni­ño... Di­ce que el se­cre­to de la ta­lla en ma­de­ra es ser ca­paz de ver lo que es­con­de ca­da tron­co de ár­bol: qué ima­gen vi­ve tras la cor­te­za, en qué se con­ver­ti­rá ca­da le­ño. To­do, des­de pe­que­ños lla­ve­ros y ju­gue­tes, has­ta ob­je­tos co­mo vír­ge­nes, cru­ces, ob­je­tos de­co­ra­ti­vos, mue­bles, puer­tas, de­bi­da­men­te ta­lla­dos con in­trin­ca­dos mo­de­los, se en­cuen­tra a la ven­ta. San An­to­nio de Iba­rra is a very small town, only a hand­ful of streets wi­de, but its fa­me is far grea­ter than its si­ze. Al­most every lo­ca­le here of­fers show­rooms, if not me­re sto­ra­ge, for hun­dreds of wood­car­vings. Only 5 km west of Iba­rra, the town ap­pa­rently adop­ted the tra­de as a re­sult of the 1868 earth­qua­ke that shat­te­red Iba­rra to pie­ces. A cer­tain Da­niel Re­yes was duly trai­ned to fix and re­cu­pe­ra­te the church’s images and scul­ptu­res, and upon fi­nis­hing this work, pas­sed on his know­led­ge. To­day, Luis Po­to­sí is re­gar­ded as one of the most in­ter­na­tio­nally ac­clai­med ar­ti­sans, at ease wor­king with tra­di­tio­nal pie­ces as he is with mo­dern, avant-guard abs­trac­tions at his ga­llery and works­hop across the street from the main squa­re. Only logs to be­gin with, stac­ked up in a bo­de­ga, each pie­ce of wood feels dif­fe­rent to him. So­me are cats, ot­hers saints, ot­hers the Ma­don­na and Child… the se­cret to wood-car­ving, he says, is being able to see what’s in­si­de each log, what lies be­neath the bark. Everyt­hing from small key chains and toy-si­zed ob­jects to Vir­gins, cros­ses, mas­si­ve de­co­ra­tions, fur­ni­tu­re, even doors, duly car­ved with in­tri­ca­te pat­terns, can be found here for sa­le.

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