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 Pino Suarez S/N, Ocumicho, Michoacán
Sabina Elias Felipe began working in clay at the age of six. Her mother was the first ceramicist in the family. The type of work done by Sabina has not been done for generations in Ocumicho. It used to be that clay items were made from molds rather than the hand-forming that is done today.
Sabina makes all the figures from clay herself, sometimes her sister helps with the painting. The clay is purchased from San José de Gracia in the form of powder. She turns the powder into clay by adding water and working with it. She forms the figures, allows them to dry and then fires them with wood in the family oven. Then they are left to cool before painting.
She won her first prize maybe at ten years old. She has won many awards throughout her life - first place at least twice, several 2nd and 3rd places at the national level. At state level, she has won many awards including 1st places at Día de Los Muertos in Pátzcuaro and Semana Santa in Uruapan and Morelia. At local level she won a 1st place in the toy category in Paracho and has won many 1st places in her pueblo, Ocumicho. Her most recent 1st place win was June 29, 2015 in Ocumicho.
Inspiration springs from various sources. One source is the description her mother gave her on how her people carried their work (then from molds) on their backs to different towns to sell it. She saw in her mind what it was like and made a guacalero (in a Mexican market, a man who earns his living carrying boxes of vegetables, fruits on his back) as a devil. It made him look like he was walking with all his wares on his back.