Rogelio Alonso Meza is a 2nd Generation Lacquer ware artist and works with his son and granddaughter creating exquisite works of art. Designs of flowers, birds, butterflies and animals on plates platters and utensils. He is a Grand Prize winner for his Lacquer ware in the Concurso National Artesenal the national contest for artisans.
Patzquaro Lacquer ware in Michoacan State has been made since pre-Hispanic times, the gold outlined technique was brought by the Spaniards in the 17 century. By the 18th century Patzquaro had become a lacquer ware production center competing with oriental lacquer ware in quality and beauty. The designs used in the decoration of trays, plates, and gourds as well as the color combinations have an oriental influence because during the colonial period, Mexico was part of the commercial route between Philippines,Spain and the Chinese. Lacquer ware influenced the local artisans.
After the wars for Independence the traditional lacquer ware techniques almost died out but were relearned in the 1980's. Today, Patzquaro still makes the most intricate of designs, and still uses gold leaf in some of its production, which varies widely from trays, to plates to utensils and decorative items
The wooden objects are made of birch or elm wood. The object is sanded then smeared with Aje insect oil. Next it is covered with several coats of powdered dolomite. After each coat is applied, the piece is polished with a stone and allowed to dry. This process can take days or weeks.
Once the piece is lacquered, the decoration is drawn onto the piece with a fine brush. The next step is to apply color to the designs with oil paints. When the oil colors have dried, a mordant, which is a glue, will fix the paint in place, the 23 karat gold leaf or brass leaf is applied and the excess brushed away.