25 July 2013

Horses and hair sticks

     Three generations of the Julio Lopez family in Bluefields carve items mostly from rosewood and mahogany that they rescue.   In Virginia, when the utility company clears power lines, the trees that get taken down are usually oak, or pine.   Near Bluefields it might be mahogany, like the piece they took home to cure not too long ago.   
     Their creations include items that the Lopez family already knows will sell quickly as well as items that are custom made.  And their work has traveled far:  a group of Peace Corps volunteers recently collected pre-ordered plaques and there's a piece of the family's work on display in the Nicaragua's Embassy in Washington, D.C.  
     I have what was to the senior Lopez a piece of trash:  a mahogany rocking horse (minus the rockers obviously). The first horse of a custom order didn't meet his pretty exacting standards and so was discarded - literally dropped on the ground where it propped up one end of a low seat for years.   The horse now hangs on a wall at my house in Virginia.  

A recent visitor to False Bluff custom-ordered hair sticks made of rosewood....

 and then gave a pair to a member of our False Bluff family.

     My friend Sylvia Fox - who is more like a sister I never knew I had until I got to Nicaragua - liked the idea of the hair sticks enough to make her own from a pair of bamboo skewers she found in the False Bluff kitchen.