Su abuelo fue pionero en la cantera, hoy Víctor es un gran maestro escultor


Since he was 7 years old, Víctor and his brothers accompanied their father to remove stone from the quarry bank of Escolásticas, where he is from.

His father took out the stone and he and his brothers cleaned it to take it to his workshop. At the age of 10, Víctor began to work with the material. He started with small fountains and little by little he learned to carve more shapes and figures.

Today the town of Escolásticas has around 300 workshops. Víctor has 7 brothers and they all work in the quarry.

At some point in his life, at the age of 17, Víctor decided to go to work in the United States to earn more money. Every so often he returned to Mexico and after a few months he left again. Perhaps to this situation he attributes that today he does not have recurring clients of many years.

Víctor's grandfather and perhaps 3 other people were the ones who founded the trade in Escolásticas. At some point his grandfather worked in Chihuahua and it was there that he learned about the craft and later brought it to his community in Querétaro. Already for his father's generation there were about 30 workshops that existed in the town and little by little the number grew until it reached the current number of workshops.

Unfortunately competition is also governed by prices; Víctor tells us that profits were better before and that prices from 30 years to date have changed very little.

Working the quarry is no longer as profitable as before.

“Actualmente hay mucha competencia en Escolásticas, si uno se va unos meses Estados Unidos o si se decide parar el trabajo por atender otros asuntos o necesidades, es muy fácil perder clientes. Hay muchas opciones de otros talleres para realizar un trabajo”.

— Victor Ruiz

Most of the time clients come with just an image of a sculpture and ask for it to be copied. Every time, each sculpture made represents a certain challenge and there are sculptures that leave a lot of learning. Also is important to know how to choose the material. There is hard stone that is used to do certain things, and soft stone that lends itself to other types of work, you have to know the material.

His first shaped sculpture was around the age of 23 and it was a Virgin of Guadalupe that he still keeps in his workshop.

“No puedo decir que trabajar la cantera para mí sea sólo costumbre, la verdad es que es un oficio muy bonito. Y no puedo decir que me vaya mal. Sí logro sustentar a la familia con mi trabajo”.

— Victor Ruiz

For Víctor, the pieces he makes for MERAKIA represent a challenge due to their size and precision, even when they appear to be very simple pieces at first glance. It is normal for clients to request larger pieces, small pieces are rarely requested; few quarry artisans dare to make small pieces, and Víctor has been one of them.

Víctor has specialized in carving sculptural, religious or Roman-type figures.

Every year in Escolásticas the government organizes a quarry sculpture contest, each time the challenge of winning a place is more difficult. Víctor has managed on more than one occasion to be part of the first places.

“Cada escultura nueva representa un buen reto, es muy bonito hacerlas pero también representa una buena cantidad de estrés”.

— Victor Ruiz