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ADDRESS & ACTIVITIES
ADDRESS OR VENUE
OPENING HOURS (or DATE if it is an event)
Colonel Tálbot 7-49 between Mariscal Sucre and Presidente Córdova streets, Cuenca City, Ecuador
Monday to Friday 09:00 - 12:30 and 14:30 - 18h30
Saturdays 09:00 - 12:30
The Carlos Bustos Embossing Workshop is located in the urban parish of San Sebastian, just a few steps from the main square of the main historical sector of the city of Cuenca (UNESCO World Heritage Site). In this section of Coronel Tálbot Street it seems that time has stopped. Low houses, made of adobe (a clay-based building material), many of which remind us of the city of yesteryear.
In this workshop, with the craft technique of embossing, they work on sheets of different types of soft metals, leather or other ductile raw materials, in order to achieve reproductions of images in relief. Carlos Bustos comes from a family of tinsmith artisans. His father and brother were dedicated to this trade. But he, 40 years ago, decided to go his own way. He was a student of the artist Edgar Carrasco, from whom he learned the basics of art and working with metals. When he gained experience, he decided to open his own workshop.
The work begins with drawing what he wants to do. Then with his hands and a lot of care, he uses simple tools to do his job, such as screwdrivers transformed into profilers, hammers, brushes, rollers. An embosser resorts to the technique of the "negative", by means of which, with the forms drawn backwards of the plate of chosen material, that settles on a soft surface and little by little, by means of a progressive deformation of the worked surface, the relief is obtained. Finally, he turns the piece over and outlines the details to define the shapes.
Bustos is a tireless creator and owner of infinite patience. In his workshop the most varied objects are exhibited, well decorated: crosses, paintings, masks, lamps, lanterns, candlesticks, animal figures, mirror frames, among others. His favorite materials, because of their low cost, are aluminum, brass and tin. The prices of his embossings vary according to the time it took him to make them and their size. The visitor can ask for a test of skill in this place: to make his own embossing.
If you are in a hurry to visit Cuenca, you might miss this charming place. Attention to detail is necessary, as the workshop is small and can go unnoticed between the Museum of Modern Art and the staircase leading down to the Plaza del Otorongo.