From mischievous monkeys to curious crocs, the creations of Mario Lopez Torres have us thoroughly entranced. While Torres’s animal creations are currently cropping up everywhere (thanks to the desire for wicker being at an all-time fever pitch), Torres himself remains a bit of an enigma. Little is known about the master craftsman, save for the fact that he’s been working in the craft-centric region of Michoacan, Mexico since the 1970s. But, lucky for us, his animal creations speak (and, yes, roar, bellow, and hiss) just fine for themselves. Among the things we love most about Mario Lopez Torres is his sheer breadth of work. His piece include wicker-style animals, screens, chandeliers, and even occasional furniture. Worth noting is that Torres’s animals aren’t actually made of wicker, but are constructed of a natural fiber known as chuspata. While basket weaving is a centuries-old tradition in Michoacan, the process Torres uses actually originated in the Philippines and was introduced to him by way of a Texan handcrafts dealer. Today, numerous artists in the Michoacan region produce chuspata animals, while Torres himself oversees a team of 10. Perfect for those who desire a bit of didn’t-see-that-coming quirk, Torres’s creations nod to both the Palm Beach and boho chic looks—making them an inspired pick for anyone trying to nail the Jungalow trend or add a little unexpected whimsy to a coastal interior. Love Torres's animals, but looking for a material that's a little more cat claw-friendly? Be sure to check out Sergio Bustamaonte's animals made of brass and bronze!
Mario Lopez Torres
Gently Used Mario Lopez Torres Furniture
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