For FALL 2010's delicious offerings of books, art, food, film, and unique travel--check out the NEW ISSUE of our online magazine FEAST--you will not go away hungry-- http://www.feastofbooks.com/

Between issues, read our blog posts as we and our special guests share thoughts, ideas, and recommendations about books, art, food, film, and travel. We love to hear from our readers, so please post a comment! Thanks-- Rosemary Carstens, editor

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Snax Online is undergoing a redesign and will be moving to a new location. Check back from time to time for a link. In its new format, this blog will cover a wider range of topics but also its usual five. In the meantime, keep up with what's happening in the world of books, art, food, film, and travel at http://www.FEASTofBooks.com --

See you in 2011!!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Straw appliqué extends tradition through innovation --

THE ART OF STRAW APPLIQUÉ arose in colonial New Mexico because the Spanish colonists wanted to replicate the old world marquetry of their homeland but could not get the rare woods or gold used by artisans in Spain. Precious metal was a rare commodity and the use of gold was strictly controlled. Marquetry is a term that applies to two different types of wood surface decoration—inlay and veneer. Modern straw appliqué combines the two, using humble, readily available materials—such as wheat straw, corn husks, and native woods—that when skillfully applied echo the delicate coloration and patterns of pieces created traditionally. The straw is cleaned and then cut into tiny pieces used to create intricate geometric or floral shapes and figures against a background of dark-stained wood formed into crosses, altars, boxes, and other pieces. The so-called poor man’s gilding has become an exquisite re-rendering of a classic style.

BERNADETTE MARQUEZ-LÓPEZ is a native of Santa Fe, New Mexico. She began working as a straw artist in 2003 after admiring the art for many years. She has quickly developed her own style and has risen to the top of this art form. She juried into the annual Traditional Spanish Market in 2004, which is held on the Santa Fe Plaza the last weekend of July each year. Bernadette is inspired by the subtle colors and beauty of New Mexico’s ever-changing landscape. She shares her life with her talented husband, bultos-carver Arthur López, and their two sons, Darean and Jeremiah. For more information and to see more of her work, Bernadette can be contacted at artplopez@aol.com.


Melanie Mulhall said...



I am curious to know how the delicate work is treated/protected once applied.


Anonymous said...

And I'm interested in knowing how well the decorations stay on. I've seen work like this and always worried about the glue (or whatever the adhesive is) holding up over time. Do you happen to know about that? Karen Lin

Rosemary Carstens said...

Melanie and Karen: Bernadette is not available at the moment, but the answer to the question of fragility is that upon completion, the entire piece is sealed and coated, sometimes with traditional pine sap and sometimes with UV varnishes, which don't tend to yellow. If done professionally, as Bernadette does, the pieces don't just fall off. However, this IS a piece of art work and needs to be handled with love -- Rosemary

ClaireWalter said...

Another art form that I was unfamiliar with. I've seen examples somewhere along the line, I'm sure, but admired the work without really knowing about it.

Claire @ http://travel-babel.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

Great description of an unusual art form!
Thank you, Rosemary.