lunes, 26 de junio de 2017

Cantera Stone in Patzcuaro and the Lake Region

Cantera stone is a relatively light (in weight), volcanic rock found only in Mexico and Central America.  It is found in different colors – including green and black hues – but the most common is in the pinkish-gray spectrum.  It is very durable and has been used for centuries in Mexico and Latin America in the construction of churches, great houses, and fountains.

Cantera Stone Statue at Hotel Mansion Iturbe in Pátzcuaro
Cantera Stone Statue at Hotel Mansion Iturbe in Pátzcuaro

Cantera Stone Sculpture at Mansion Iturbe in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán
Cantera Stone Sculpture at Mansion Iturbe in Pátzcuaro, Michoacán


Michoacán is a favorite “hunting ground” for cantera; there seems to be an endless supply of it.  Neither is there an end of the imaginative ways to which it can be put.  It was formerly used primarily in construction in the colonial era; just look at the churches around the State! – but the more common use these days is in making fountains and sculpted figures.  

Our Lady of Health in Pátzcuaro sculpted in Cantera Stone at Hotel Mansión Iturbe in Pátzcuaro
Our Lady of Health in Pátzcuaro sculpted in Cantera Stone at Hotel Mansión Iturbe in Pátzcuaro

It is so porous, if you have a cup or bowl made of cantera (without any sealer), you can pour just about any quality of water in it, and purified water will drip out the bottom (making it potable), leaving the residuals behind.

Especially in the Tzintzuntzan area, there are countless artisans who work cantera.  Just before you enter Tzintzuntzan from Pátzcuaro, for example, there is a veritable “cantera mall” with several hundred meters of figures, large and small, staring at you from both sides of the road, tempting you, luring you, seducing you relentlessly!

"Cantera Mall" in Tzintzuntzan at Lake Patzcuaro Region
"Cantera Mall" in Tzintzuntzan at Lake Patzcuaro Region

If you can resist the enticement of that gauntlet, proceed through town and continue toward Quiroga.  Along that stretch, you will find several dozen families with their own personal collections of cantera for sale.  (In fact, some if not many of them sell or consign their work to the aforementioned “cantera mall” because they get more exposure there.)  For that reason, pieces on the mall will often be more expensive than the same pieces further down the road.

So enjoy shopping around a little between Tzintzuntzan and Quiroga; chat with the artisans, and maybe pick up a five-inch-high cantera turtle – or a two-meter-high Poseidon.  In either case, you will end up with a rock-solid memoir of Michoacán….  One you can put in your luggage, one you cannot.

You can buy beautiful Cantera Stone Pieces of Art at Lake Patzcuaro Region
You can buy beautiful Cantera Stone Sculptures at Lake Patzcuaro Region


*We appreciate the collaboration of our friend Andrew Carhartt  to make this article for our  Hotel Mansion Iturbe blog.

We invite you to check more post in our blog, you will find information about Patzcuaro and its surroundings, that we hope will be useful for your next visit to our colonial town in Mexico.

Here are some post that we suggest you:

Plant-Fiber Crafts around Lake of Pátzcuaro

Pottery in and around Pátzcuaro

Artisan Textiles of Patzcuaro


Hotel Mansion Iturbe
Portal Morelos 59
Plaza Vasco de Quiroga

61600 Patzcuaro, 
Michoacán, México


For more information about our Hotel in Patzcuaro

Reservations online at Hotel Mansion IturbeTels: +52 (434) 342 0368 / 342 3628Fax: +52 (434) 342 3627Toll Free fax number from USA & CANADA: 1 866 678 6102GDS 

GDS CODES:
Amadeus: ON MLMMAN
Sabre: ON 16297

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