Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Art of Basura!

Entrance to palapa workshop

 There is a funny little palapa structure that appeared, a year or two ago, south of Villa la Bella on the Caribbean side of Isla Mujeres.  First it was the location of a refreshment stand, offering cold drinks to passersby, then it changed into a workshop area with all sorts of unusual things hanging or laying around. 



Purchased by friends

Passing it regularly we never thought to investigate.  Then about three weeks ago Robyn and Al Crump showed us a table that one of their sons had purchased from the artisan who works in the palapa.  Wow!  His name is Antonio Fabre.  Originally from Cuernavaca near Mexico City, Antonio has lived on Isla Mujeres for about five years.  He creates beautiful things using stone, interesting woods, recycled metals, and other unusual items. 

The largest table in Antonio's display store.

"But wait, there's more!"  Al and Robyn said we absolutely had to see the bigger coffee table in the shop on Hidalgo where Antonio displays his work.  Okay, let's go.  We hopped into our car and zipped down to Centro around ten in the morning on a Wednesday - only to find the store closed.  We hung around, waited, had a cold drink, waited and finally Al called Antonio on his cell phone.  The store was closed for the day, but Antonio said he would be there in ten minutes.  He was.  The table was lovely.  We needed it. 


Re-cycling wooden gate into a table

"But wait, there's more!"  We wanted a second, smaller table for our outside sitting area. Leaning against an outside wall on our house was a wooden gate, from another house, that had been replaced by an aluminum gate.  Lawrie had rescued the gate thinking it might, in the future, make good coffee table top. 

We showed it to Antonio, and he said, sure I can make you a coffee table out of this.  Great!  A couple of days later Antonio dropped by our house with a choice of three designs for the second table.  We picked one, settled on a price for the two tables and left it at that.





Antonio and Max setting up new table
Wednesday February 1st he delivered both tables.  We couldn't be more pleased with the results.  The one made from the re-cycled gate has been painstakingly inscribed, line by line, with the lyrics of a very old song "Vive" by Jose Maria Napoleon, and rewritten by Antonio's friend Efrain. 

He also added our favourite saying; no regrets, no bad memories.  The base is a beautiful slab of Macedonia limestone from the Mérida area also called Crema Maya, set into a huge block of Zapote, a beautiful and tough tropical wood.  The larger table has a base made from an old anchor, with a porthole accent and carved fish swimming across the surface of the gorgeous tropical wood.

Beautiful lamps at Angelo's Restaurante

When I quizzed Antonio about his work he said he trained as an architect in Mexico City for two years, then when the teachers went on strike he moved to Barcelona Spain for a year to study photography. 

With his creative mind photography was excessively two-dimensional, so he switched to creating beautiful things from wood, metal, stone, and glass. 


Other examples of Antonio's work include the signage at Angelo's Restaurante, Casa Crump del Caribe, the large street-side mobile at Villa la Bella, and the gorgeous multi-coloured lights at Angelo's.

House name for Casa Crump del Caribe


At times Antonio is difficult to locate.  He is often in Cancun, or Merida or other parts of the Yucatan buying materials for his current creations. 

Here's his cell number
998-128-3060, and his email address is antoniofabre@hotmail.com! 






Don't despair!  You can locate him, and it's well worth the effort. 

Antonio takes discarded items and turns them into works of art.




6 comments:

Island Nana said...

Wow! We will look for his palapa when we are on Isla next month.

Lynda said...

Do you know the one I mean? It's on the right hand side of the road as you head south past Villa la Bella, across from the flat area where the temporary bull rings are usually set up, or as in today the temporary circus location. Cheers Lynda

Life's a Beach! said...

Those tables are amazing Lynda! I've been looking at that place for the past few years wondering what went on there. It's almost directly across from the place where we hunt seaglass. Great post! (If this is a duplicate comment, you can delete. I'm having problems posting it.)

Mexico said...

Antonio's turns out one of a kind pieces. So fine and unique. i bought 2 pieces today to take back to the states.

Lynda & Lawrie said...

Dear Mexico - wonderful! He is an artist. I am sure you will have many years of enjoying his beautiful work. Antonio is currently building us a new sofa and coffee table, made from hardwood. I can't wait to see the finished product. Cheers Lynda

Mexico said...

:-) Great blog. I'll be back for more...soon!