Popotillo (straw) Weaving
To Contact: This artisan’s page is part of the Feria Maestros del Arte website, a non-profit organization providing a yearly venue for Mexican folk artisans to come together to sell their work. If you wish to purchase the artisan's work other than at the Feria, you MUST contact them directly.
Calle Turicuaro S/N
Antonio Cornelio Rendón lives in Tzintzuntzan, Michoacán, has been working with straw alongside his father since he was nine years old. Even before that time, he remembers being fascinated watching his grandfather make a tool to throw a rock. It entailed the weaving of thin rope and here is where Antonio began his interest in weaving.
Antonio is married with three daughters He makes his incredibly intricate designs with a type of straw known as popotillo. It is very thin, but he has mastered the art of working with it in creating completely original designs as well as more common religious objects and Christmas ornaments. He makes earrings and other small objects as well, but is best known for his medium and large-sized estrellas (stars) that are displayed on the wall.
This shy maestro says that these one-of-a-kind designs stem from what he learned from his grandfather. He has won awards in concursos (judged shows): a 3rd Place National Award with FONART (the piece was later exhibited in Morelia at CASART.) He has also won a 1st Place National Award with FONART for a nativity scene created from straw.
Before attending the Feria, Antonio had never been to an art show. He has come a long way since then, with his work being recognized worldwide. In 2017, Antonio went to Madrid, Spain to show his work. Although he did not receive 1st place, Antonio and his family were recognized by the Loewe Foundation. There were 3,900 applicants and 26 finalists. There was 1 winner and 2 honorable mentions, of which Antonio was one.
Math plays a large role in the creation of Antonio’s complex large estrellas. Watching the dexterity of his hands and fingers is fascinating. This is truly one of Mexico's most unique handcrafts.
Outside of his art, he is very proud to have completed a degree at a technical high school and will be working with ecological projects including vegetable and fruit gardening for small spaces.