Especieros

2013
Publised in Core77 and exhibited at Pratt Studios, Fall 2013
Spice Containers made in Mexico as part of THE MALINALCO PROJECT

This project addresses a relationship between nature and humankind development. This link is based in the human need for provision by taking natural resources and transforming them into consumable goods. It is the market that connects the regional production with the life of the village, becoming a central element in the community.

CONCEPT. In pre-Hispanic markets in the area of Malinalco, merchants used sets of wooden containers to store and measure their products for trade. The containers in this project refer to those objects: wooden pieces of different sizes, meant to keep spices, grains, herbs, seasonings for everyday use. They connect through a set of interchangeable bases, as changing and dynamic as seasonal and weather variations. The containers are then defined as a cultural element while the bases bring the natural world.

TYPOLOGY. Container + corresponding base. The whole set works as an interactive and versatile group, not constraint to one specific configuration. This is a modular system, meant to be an expandable series by adding as many more modules as desired.

FORM. These containers mimic the cupolas of Malinalco’s churches. They are all shaped as inverted domes. Each one has a different number of ridges, which refers to accountancy in the commercial life of a market. The bases follow the pattern of a seed sheath and have the footprint of the containers’ bottoms. So the bases can connect in different ways, but the container only fits in a specific position on its corresponding base.

MATERIALS. Containers were made of aguacatillo wood and bone. Bases were made of cedar and tinted with chapulin resin. All the pieces were wood carved with chisel and knife by Aldana and Charly.-