Alabaster Tradition

In Ayacucho, Peru the art of carving alabaster or piedra de huamanga developed after the Spanish discovered the finest white stone in Huamanga near Ayacucho, Peru. This art flourished thanks to the church who commissioned artists to create devotional sculptures of Virgins and Saints.

Long-Time Tradition

Almost 500 years later, this art is still practiced by over 100 master artists from Ayacucho as one of the most iconic Peruvian folk art traditions. So much so that in 2019, it was officially recognized as part of the Peruvian Cultural Patrimony.

From the Alabaster Quarries

To create their sculptures, artists rely on the work of communities who own and are in charge of the alabaster quarries. The finest stones are extracted from deep in the earth in an artesanal way to be sold to the artists. With community approval, artists themselves may extract their own blocks on occasion. Regardless, it is customary to first make an offering asking permission to Mother Earth.

Piedra de Huamanga

Piedra de Huamanga, aka alabaster stone (calcium sulfate) is a sedimentary geological stone of volcanic origin. It is most commonly white, but can also be gray, brown and less frequently green or pink. It is a relatively soft stone with hardness between 2 - 2.7 on the Mohs scale, so it is used mostly for sculptural and decorative purposes..

Master Carver Benjamin Pizarro

Get to know the artistic work of Benjamín Pizarro, alabaster master carver, with extensive experience in the art of transforming huamanga stone into beautiful sculptures. He loves creating religious figures and commissioned nature-themed sculptures. Crafting his distinctive and delicate miniature alabaster nativities also provides his family with reliable and steady work year-round.

The Art of Jhonny Romani

Desde muy pequeño descubrió su inclinación hacia el arte como un juego, influenciado por el legado artístico que se respira en su ciudad natal Ayacucho y la naturaleza que lo rodea. Empezó usando cuánto material encontraba en su entorno, a medida que fue creciendo se fue formando en el arte y decidió especializar su vocación estudiando en la escuela de Bellas Artes de Ayacucho. Actualmente tiene su propio taller donde trabaja con el alabastro convirtiéndola en bellas esculturas que hablan por sí solas.

Alabaster Nativities

Following the devotional tradition, Lucuma Designs' nativity collection reflects the passion of master alabaster artists Benjamin Pizarro and Jhonny Romani.