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1994_133_3.jpg - 11235 BytesStraw crosses were traditionally made in Santa Fe, New Mexico, from as early as the middle of the 17th century. Local citizens saw the wealthy Spanish Colonial gentry giving fine golden crosses to the local church.

1994_133_3cl.jpg - 22396 Bytes Not to be out done, artisans would create wooden cross and apply pigment and straw as a way of imitating this gold work. The symbols that were used on the crosses were often Christian mixed with local native symbolism.

1994_132_3.jpg - 12255 Bytes Here Albuquerque artist Jimmy Trujillo has created his crosses in the historic manner. Pine pitch is reduced into a glue, a process that takes six months. The pitch is applied over the cross which has already be colored with a pigment.

1994_132_3c.jpg - 10967 BytesThe straw is then "encrusted in the top layer of the pitch. A thinner layer of pitch is then applied to the surface to seal the piece, which can take 3-4 months to cure.

1994_131_3.jpg - 10048 BytesThe three traditional colors used here are Indigo, vermilion, and black, which may have originally come from the soot of the church oil lamps.



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