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New Boy On The Block!

Paolo Gerero

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Hello friends, I'm Paolo Gerero from the Philippines and I'm new here. This community seems to be a lot of fun and boy did I ever come across a treasure house of carving wisdom!


I am a 19-year-old artist working in the tradition of the Filipino "santero" (that literally means 'saint-maker'). A santero carves images of saints, angels and representations of the Divine in wood, bone, ivory and every other carvable material for use in churches or for the private devotion of the faithful. The santero tradition is an old one - it goes waaaaaay back when the first Christians started when the first Christians started to depict the central figures and persons involved with their faith, was brought to its golden age in 16th century Europe, and then brought by Spain to its Philippine colony about 400 years ago.


The Filipino santero works mostly with wood, ivory and bone. Statues range from the size of a thumbnail to as big as a man - all made according to set rules on iconography and accepted standards of religious representation. There are two types of statues that the santero makes: one is called "de vestir", which means that the statue is made to be dressed with real fabrics, wigs and crowns, thus is carved with movable and poseable bodies. Often, only the parts that peek out of the clothes (such as heads,hands and feet) are rendered in detail. The other is called "tallado entero", which means that the statue is carved in-the-round, able to stand on its own and has meaning even without the use of accessories unlike the de vestir type which will not mean anything without its accouterments.


I look forward to sharing my work with you guys, and being inspired by yours as well. Already I've seen many works in the Sow and Tell forum and some just... well, some made me skip a heartbeat or two. Such is the power of beauty that the carver's craft. :)


[Photos, top to bottom: my take on the Child Jesus, de vestir style; a head of a St. Joseph statue that I just can't seem to finish; my rendition of the suffering Christ, also de vestir; and finally, my all-time favorite statue of the Sorrowful Virgin Mary and... me! :-) ]





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Hello Paolo!


Welcome to The Carving Path forum. Your work at 19 years of age is very well developed. At what age did you begin to carve?


I look forward to learning about the materials and tools that you use, and to find out what considerations and accommodations are made for the survival of the pieces in a warm/hot and humid climate. Other questions too, but later.



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