Jicara Figurines Artist Carver - Boruca Costa Rica
“I have always identified with the Jaguar because it is a patient and constant animal. It moves with certainty, and it doesn't back down, that is something beautiful.”
Around 1980, Loli started creating jicara handicrafts inspired by her childhood memories and her father’s encouragement of her drawing skills. She created traditional crafts such as maracas, water bottles and containers with jicara, also known as calabash, which grows in trees around the village.
“My dad made masks, my mom and grandmother knitted, so one learns by watching. Then one realizes that you have that innate ability, and the art is within you. When you enjoy it, you feel excitement when creating a piece and seeing it turned out so beautiful.”
One day, the inspiration came to Loli to create an animal from the jicara. For over 12 years, Loli has been perfecting this new art form which consists of drying and boiling the jicara fruit for hours to cure and clean it. Then Loli envisions each animal and hand carves natural themes into the jicara as the animal’s body. The animal’s legs, head and tail are carved out of balsa wood. To add color to her original pieces, she collaborates with her son and grandson as the painters.