Crosses of Life
These Crosses of Life come from the studio of Oscar Soteno.
Oscar Soteno is the nephew of Tiburcio Soteno Fernández, the famed ceramicist from Metepec, one of the primary ceramic centers in Mexico. Oscar, famous in his own right, leaned to work with clay as a child. As an adult, he began specializing in creating Trees of Life, like his uncle. These clay sculptures, which evolved from the creation of candle sticks, feature ornate detailing and vary in size from handheld to larger than a person.
Oscar’s workshop just outside of Metepec is a family-run affair. In the courtyard are two large kilns where the pieces are fired. He makes traditional Trees of Life that feature themes of Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden as well as ones that depict the life of Christ and more ornamental ones. Day of the Dead imagery is also a common theme. To decorate the trees, Oscar uses paints he makes himself.