Federico Enciso Ramos is a mosaic artist from Ajijic who creates decorative mosaic work for the home and garden, as well as hangable works of art.
When he sits down to start a new mosaic, Federico normally has no idea how it will end. He lets the shapes, colors and textures of the stones be his guide, placing them randomly before an idea starts to reveal itself. Then he plays around with those initial ideas until he’s able to use the stones to tell a complete story.
“I cut lots of pieces and I end up making many of these,” says Federico, pointing to the mosaics hanging on a wall at his ongoing September 2019 exhibition at Casa Colón Concept House. “And I didn’t know what I was going to do — I just knew how the stones are connecting with me, what they are giving me, how I was feeling.”
Sourcing His Materials
Federico sources his rocks from the local hillside, from shops in Guadalajara and visits to the beach. “Whenever I go to the beach, I always spend time picking pebblestones,” which get polished naturally by the surf.
But the majority of the stone pieces Federico cuts and shapes himself from whole blocks of uncut rock.
“There are some stones that I do buy,” says Federico. “I go to the stores where they have the big uncut rocks and I sometimes buy small rocks. There are some that I find on trips or hiking in the mountains. But most I cut one by one from the raw rock with a wet saw and a diamond circular blade.
“It’s like cutting ham. But the rocks are much harder.”
After the mosaic is complete, Federico applies a layer of clear varnish to protect the rock and make the colors shine. Each type of rock absorbs the varnish at a different rate depending on how porous it is.
“That’s what’s interesting because the tonalities can change from between shiny to matte,” he says.
Federico started making mosaics in the early 2000s after learning sculpture and other forms of art. During this period he made stone tables and decorative art for three years with a business partner.
“For me, it didn’t satisfy me,” he says, tapping on his chest, “here.” When he was introduced to mosaics, it was an explosion of ideas.
Emotions and dreams inspire much of Federico’s work, as reflected in the title and designs embedded in the stone pieces of his work: “Inner Peace,” “Aura and the Rain of Blessings,” “Quantum Transcending and the Dragon Butterfly.”
His Work Is a Part of the Ajijic Plaza
Federico designed and installed the mosaic work at the Ajijic plaza, which the town contracted him to do in 2012. He and a team of workers mostly volunteered their time for a total of eight months. The town supplied the materials plus an occasional payment, which Federico usually passed on to the other workers.
For Federico, it’s an honor to have his work displayed so prominently in Ajijic’s most important public space.
“It’s for the pueblo, it’s for everyone. It’s for all people, not only the town, for everyone to enjoy,” he says, referring to Ajijic’s many visitors, such as the weekenders from nearby Guadalajara.
Besides the creation of hangable mosaics for displaying on walls, Federico also does decorative mosaic work. He makes furniture, such as tables and mirrors, with inlaid mosaics. You can also hire him to work on structural elements such as pillars, cornices, fireplace mantels, and hearths in your home or garden. He will do inset floor and wall designs, or create decorative accessories.
You can currently find his work on display and for sale during the month of September 2019 at Casa Colón Concept House.
Federico will be showing his work at the “Jardín de la Escultura 2,” a group show at La Cochera Cultural (Javier Mina #49, Ajijic), during the weekend of September 28-29, 2019, from 12-6 p.m. on Saturday and 12-4 p.m. on Sunday. The show will be a fundraiser for the Brigada Estatal de Protección Civil (State Civil Protection Brigade) and the firefighters of San Pedro Itzican.
Last updated September 21, 2019