Juan Alonso Rodriguez
Juan Alonso has spent the last 47 years making Molinillos with more and more complex details. From small cup size lengths to the stunning 3 and 4 foot 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 attached to their home. While Juan Alonso is highly regarded throughout the art world in Mexico, his sons have only recently learned the craft. Estabon, 38, has been making Molinillos for 3 years now working full time for his father. Luis Alberto, 24, has been working with them for the past few years as well. He studied Fine Arts at the University in Toluca. The whole family has a fine eye for these highly-decorated pieces.
Anselmo Gonzalez Gardino
Anselmo Gonzalez Gardino was born in Santa Mario Rayon in Mexico State. He learned the art of Molinillo making from his uncles. He has been making Molinillos for 37 years, starting with simple designs and gradually adding skills. He works with his wife of 37 years, Norma Ulloa, and together they create beautiful pieces. Recently, his designs were incorporated into the legs used for dining tables which were exhibited in Germany. The wood used for these tables is from the Wild Tamarind, or Tzalam, which is a very dense wood that gives off oils that make the eyes run. The many orders for the tables from this exhibition will cause him lots of tears! Verve Culture is funding an apprentice to work with Anselmo so that he can teach his craft and complicated 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.