The Traditional Hot Chocolate Whisk.
Meet Juan Alonso
Juan Alonso has spent the last 47 years making Molinillos. From small sizes to stunning 3 and 4 foot complex pieces, his work is exceptional. In addition to Molinillos, he has worked with one of Mexico's finest designers, Carla Fernandez, making bracelets, necklaces, and handbag handles with his special techniques. He participated in an exhibition at the Stewart Garden Museum in Boston with Carla, and has pieces in the Toluca Museum of Popular Culture.
Juan Alonso works with his two sons in their workshop. Estabon, 38, has been making Molinillos for 3 years with his father. Luis Alberto, 24, who studied Fine Arts at the University in Toluca, has been working with them for the past few years as well. The whole family has a fine eye for these highly-decorated pieces.
Meet Antelmo Gonzalez Gardino
Antelmo Gonzalez Gardino learned the art of Molinillo-making from his uncles. He has been making Molinillos and married to his wife Norma Ulloa for 37 years. Together they create beautiful pieces. Recently, his designs were incorporated into the legs of dining tables which were exhibited in Germany. The wood used for these tables is from the Wild Tamarind, which gives off oils that make the eyes run. The many orders for the tables from this exhibition will also cause him lots of tears!
Verve Culture hopes will help fund an apprentice to work with Anselmo so that he can teach his craft and intricate designs. The artistic expression and execution is so beautiful that it must be passed down to young, dedicated artists in the same way it was passed down to Anselmo. It is difficult to find a young person who has the passion to pursue this intricate craft but we support Antlemo's search for such a person.
Check out the molinillos here. They’re fantastic for whipping up Mexican Hot Chocolate, and they support artisans who are passing down their beautiful woodwork to the next generation.