Jose Arriola’s Ornaments Add To The Vitality of the Season

Ceramic’s Artisan, Jose Arriola

From first sight, Jose Arriola’s artwork inspires joy. His ornaments and figurines combine delicate carvings, vibrant colors, and unique themes. There are hummingbirds adorned with bright floral motifs. Angels in hand-painted terracotta. Crescent moons with playful faces.

Jose’s positivity emanates throughout his work. He is the kind of artisan who describes his early years during the Guatemalan Civil War by finding a reason to be grateful. “Don’t ask me how, but we never lacked food on our table – we could be lacking in many things during the Civil War, but we never lacked food.”

He also loves his culture with a quiet passion, and that adoration comes across in his art. “I am inspired by my country: the tranquil life of my city, our extensive culture, the colors, the designs on our traditional costumes, the flora and fauna. I consider it a privilege to have been born in Guatemala.”

Above all, Jose fervently believes that his creative path was ordained before birth. “I like saying that I’ve always worked with clay, even when I was in my mother’s womb because I have always been surrounded by ceramics – they are a part of my life and education.” After five generations of ceramic artists on his mother’s side, and a father who was a master carver (and whose work graces Guatemala’s National Palace as well as the U.S. Embassy), we think he’s onto something.

This holiday season, it is our privilege to delight in Jose’s positivity and powerful light.


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