Rocio Davila finds joy in living and creating, in realizing those little things that make life large. She has found artistic fulfillment in engraving gourds, transforming them into decorative and useful items that speak to us of the Andes....
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Rocio Davila Rojas
Rocio Davila finds joy in living and creating, in realizing those little things that make life large. She has found artistic fulfillment in engraving gourds, transforming them into decorative and useful items that speak to us of the Andes.
"I dedicate myself to the work of engraving gourds. I have done so since adolescence, as I come from a family and a region (Huancayo) of artisans. Although I have taken courses in artistic design, I consider myself self-taught, since I have learned more from practice over the years. My work strives to show the inherent goodness of artisan labor, which is useful, durable, and ornamental. Through my own work, I enjoy sharing, and showing that we are able to do a labor of love in which we teach something of our own culture. I dedicate myself exclusively to this activity, and have formed a small working community to generate a sustained production.
"My art is simple: the raw material is the gourd and, as a fundamental tool, I use the chisel. The gourds, which we call mate
, are dried in the sun. We turn them periodically to obtain a uniform dryness: the noise made by the seeds inside indicates when it is dry and ready to be worked. Then it is soaked in water before it is polished. Afterward we remove the seeds. It is then that the chisel work begins, according to the design previously drawn on the gourd with a pencil. The designs agree with the size and shape of the gourd. The process of burning follows, until the desired or characteristic dark color is achieved, and finally, a coat of varnish is applied to seal the gourd and to protect it.
"My work was exhibited in the United States (Miami) in 2000, and has been sent to other countries as well. At the same time, I have participated in special fairs locally. It has been a real challenge for me to dedicate myself to this art but, despite the difficulties, I have never been sorry. I am content, but not satisfied, with what I have achieved so far.
“For me, Novica is a challenge. I am aware that as far as product quality, they are very selective, but I have confidence that my works will prevail since, in my mates, two things are important to me: beauty and utility. And they also contain part of our history and culture to show the world."