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Handcrafted Copal Wood Alebrije Cat Figurine from Mexico, 'Graceful Feline'

Product ID: U45104

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Handcrafted Copal Wood Alebrije Cat Figurine from Mexico, 'Graceful Feline'

This item is available for pre-order and will ship within 2 to 4 weeks. Learn More

Available in 2 to 4 weeks. Learn More

Details

Hand-painted with a beautiful floral design, this alebrije figurine depicts a sitting cat. Shades of green, blue, and orange make the figurine a bright and cheerful piece of decor. Artisan Teresita Gonzalez of Mexico handcrafts the cat from copal wood. Small parts are separated for shipping to protect from breakage.

Made in Mexico

  • Copal wood
  • Signed by the artist
  • Hand-crafted item -- color, size and/or motif may vary slightly
  • Warning: Choking Hazard. Small parts -- not for children under 3 years.
  • Free Gift Wrap? Yes
  • Premium Gift Wrap? Yes
  • 0.11 kgs
  • 0.2 lbs
  • 16.4 cm H x 17.7 cm W x 6.9 cm D
  • 6.5" H x 7" W x 2.7" D
View in metric units View in US/English units

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Teresita Gonzalez

Meet the Artist

Artfully crafted by Teresita Gonzalez from Mexico.

 

Meet the Artist

Teresita Gonzalez

Teresita Gonzalez

"...the doctor diagnosed me with cancerous sarcoma... but I'd look at my son and I knew my work in life wasn't finished. I began painting as a form of therapy."

Latest Update "My journey in Mexican handicrafts began when I started working with copal wood as a way of therapy to... Latest Update

"My journey in Mexican handicrafts began when I started working with copal wood as a way of therapy to relieve my cancer. I struggled with my inner demons and it was a very difficult time. It was thanks to the alebrijes that I started to come alive again. I understood that my mission is to preserve this art that saved my life. It is something that gives me life, and sharing it with others gives me the assurance of what my mission in life is.

"Besides sharing my crafts, I've been able to help other people with this same condition. And through UNICEF, we have supported causes in favor of children that fill me with pride and encouragement. When I overcame cancer I said, 'with my crafts I want to help other people with the same situation.' If Novica supports children with cancer, I want to belong to those artisans. It is now a beautiful reality, since you gave me the opportunity to give life to little ones from a hostel in Guadalajara. It was very beautiful to offer them support and hope.

"They have recognized me locally at the Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art. And I have received honorable mentions. My work has taken me farther than I ever thought."

Original Artisan Story

"I was born in 1965 to a large family in Oaxaca. I am one of 12 children and I enjoy the peace of the ranch where I was born. My life has been filled with emotions and I paint for love and necessity, for self-improvement and with clear goals. I achieved this goal even when many doubted me.

"My childhood was different and somewhat difficult. When we were seven years old, my father began teaching us how to work. He grew coffee trees, and we'd get up at 1 a.m. to cook and make tortillas. Despite that, I enjoyed the company of my family.

"Since I was very young, I've focused my time on work, but this wasn't enough for me. I wanted to meet new people in different places. One day, while observing my father's face, I noticed that he seemed to worry constantly about covering our family's expenses. I felt powerless not being able to change that. I didn't want my father to live with this anxiety so, when I was 12 years old, I dropped out of school and decided to leave the ranch.

"I went to Mexico City to find work. I wanted to help my family because I wanted the best for them. I began helping a woman with housework and she paid me with food. Then, I worked as a baker and found odd jobs to earn money so I'd no longer be a burden to my father.

"Although I had no idea of technique, I began painting. Some people said I wouldn't be able to shine in the art world, but I developed my painting ability over time.

"When I was 35, fate had a surprise for me — my son, Claudio Jr. While I was pregnant, I suffered sharp, stabbing pain on the left side of my face and had fainting spells. I tried to ignore the pain, and kept on working until I had to go to the hospital. After an analysis, the doctor diagnosed me with cancerous sarcoma in my cheekbone. At that moment, my mind returned to the beautiful moments of my childhood with my family on the ranch where I was happy.

"I was willing to have an operation on my face, but the doctor couldn't guarantee anything. This left me uncertain and I was very scared. I don't know where I found the strength, but I decided to have the operation. It was successful, however my face wasn't the same. When I left the hospital, I felt an intense pain. When I looked in the mirror, I saw bloody bandages and had to take medication. Sleeping was difficult because it hurt so much.

"I'd look at myself and think about not living anymore. For three years, I stayed away from everyone and everything. I stayed in my room without wanting to go anywhere. I didn't want to face life, but I'd look at my son and I knew my work in life wasn't finished. I had to keep going for him and this was when I began painting as a form of therapy.

"I continued painting, but my work never sold. During that time, I was wrestling with my inner demons and fighting my feelings. I didn't know what to think, what to believe, what to feel. But I had faith in God and in myself.

"One day, a foreigner approached me and asked if I made alebrijes, which are traditional Mexican figurines, carved free-form from oddly shaped pieces of wood and painted in fanciful colors. I let the man take a look at my work and he admired it. He said he wanted to buy it all. I was so surprised, I was speechless! After that, I knew I couldn't give up and I recovered my faith.

"From then on, I've looked at life differently. I no longer saw it as a lost dream and I found the strength to calm my pain. Now, I think the pain is psychological and my mind can fool me, but fate always rewards me. Some time after that, I gave birth to my second son, Alexis, and he's another reason to keep going.

"With practice, I learned different painting techniques like textures, shading and delineating, which have helped me stand out from other alebrije artisans in my town. I've learned to believe in life and to have dreams. One of them is for my art to be known around the world."

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This item ships with a free artist storycard, so you can remember who you impacted today. Customized gift messages are also available with every order.

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Return instructions

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This item is available for backorder and will ship within 2 to 4 weeks. Artists love to get backorders. Placing a backorder ensures that the artisan will do their best to create and deliver your item to our local office for shipment.

Although we cannot guarantee availability, we do expect to be able to fill the order within the timeframe indicated. But sometimes life happens - special materials may not be immediately available to the artist, or there might be some other circumstance beyond our control that could delay the shipment.

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WOMEN S M L XL XXL
4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22
BUST 35 - 36 37 - 38 39 - 41 42 - 44 46 - 48
WAIST 27 - 28 29 - 30 31 - 33 34 - 36 38 - 40
HIPS 37 - 38 39 - 40 42 - 43 45 - 46 49 - 50
MEN S M L XL XXL
CHEST 36 - 38 39 - 41 42 - 44 46 - 48 50 - 52
WAIST 30 - 32 32 - 34 35 - 37 38 - 41 43 - 45
NECK 14 - 14.5 15 - 15.5 16 - 16.5 17 - 17.5 18 - 18.5
SLEEVE 32.5 33.5 34.5 35.5 36.5
FINDING YOUR SIZE

Take your measurements with the tape measure over your under garments. If your measurements fall between sizes you may prefer the next larger size. Inseam, skirt and dress lengths vary by style and will be listed in the item description. Our sweaters are knit in standard American sizes, however actual measurements vary by style.

BUST / CHEST

Measure around the fullest part of chest under the arms and over the shoulder blades keeping the tape measure level.

WAIST

Measure around the smallest part of the waist keeping the tape measure comfortably loose. Most garments use the low waist measurement noted below.

LOW WAIST

Measure around the body approximately 1.5" below the natural waist (above). This is the area where most pants and skirts actually fit.

HIPS

Standing with your heels together, measure around the fullest part of the body approx 7"-8" below the waist.

NECK

Measure around the base of the neck keeping the tape measure comfortably loose.

SLEEVE

Bend elbow slightly and starting at the center back of the neck, measure across the shoulder, to the elbow and down to the wrist.

INSEAM

Our standard inseam length for women is 32" and 34" for men; however inseam measurements will vary slightly by style.

 

Belts with buckles are measured in inches that correspond to a waist size however, most people do not wear belts on the waist, they wear them closer to the hips. A buckle belt measurement is take from the end of the "pin" of the buckle to the middle hole on the belt. Generally there are 5 holes for size adjustment, with a 1" space between each, so the middle hole will the be average size of the belt.

For at tie belt (no buckle) measure the belt portion end to end and half of the tie portion. This again is the medium size of the belt.

For a soft fabric tie belt it can be called "1 size fits most" and the entire length of the belt should be measured and listed.

See buckle/tie belt size standards below.

WOMEN S M L XL  
4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20 22
inches 26 - 30 28 - 32 31 - 35 34 - 38 38 - 42
cm 76 - 86 81.5 - 91.5 86.5 - 96.5 91.5 - 101.5 96.5 - 106.5

+/- tolerance: 0.5 inches or 1.25 cm

MEN S M L XL XXL
inches 30 - 34 32 - 36 35 - 39 39 - 43 43 - 47
cm 81.5 - 91.5 86.5 - 96.5 91.5 - 101.5 96.5 - 106.5 109 - 119

+/- tolerance: 0.5 inches or 1.25 cm

Sash tie length

Lay sash/tie out flat away from the garment and measure from end to end.

Belt with buckle

Measure from the end of the pin of the buckle (where it touches the buckle) to the middle hole.

Belt without buckle

Measure from the belt portion end to end and half of the tie portion. This is will give you the medium size of the belt.

Download our printable ring sizing chart to find the perfect fit!

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WIN # 1 You Save!

Handmade goods from developing nations usually pass through a series of intermediaries before being purchased by retail consumers. Each of these intermediaries adds cost to the product, and that cost is passed on to the customer. UNICEF USA partnered with NOVICA, who works directly with artists through their regional offices in Asia, Africa and Latin America, allowing purchases from UNICEF Market to go directly from the artisans to fulfilling customer orders. By skipping steps in the traditional supply chain, you can buy high quality items for less than the regular retail prices.

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