One of Chuch Estudio’s most recent works consists of six pastel-colored Caguamas, or family-sized beer bottles. “Before becoming synonymous with measuring how much beer you can drink, Caguamas had a purpose: offering a family-size portion, perfect to share with friends.” This piece translates the non-alcoholic value of a Caguama. How magical and how true! Who would imagine that the intrinsic value of a Caguama revolves around friendship?
Recently, a bit because of work and a bit because of life, I have become an avid design fan. So much so that I looked into carpentry classes because many lives are worth living. When I first came across Chuch on social media on a Sunday afternoon, I felt that same excitement (like when you listen to a good song, sit on a balcony when the sun is shining, or witness a project that stimulates your senses).
Chuch Estudio is a design studio with contemporary pieces and functional art in downtown Mérida. It is dedicated to contemporary crafts, art, and slow design. It is led by Aranza (creative director), Lorena (operational director), and Natalia (textile production). During the pandemic, they felt the need to tell stories through functional pieces with artisanal techniques. This is how Chuch was born. As any born and bred Yucateco knows, Chuch is a word of Maya origin that means sweet, or cute.
Mérida has always been a city that inspires. Now, Chuch Estudio seeks to create and promote the culture of design with a project full of color and joy. Chuch transports their Yucatecan stories beyond our state. During November, they were presented at Jonaldd Dudd, an annual exhibition within the New York City Design Week, which challenges the conventions of contemporary design. Their star piece? The Banquito Pompis (buttcheek stool), a sculptural work in solid parota wood created by the hands of local artisans.
They find inspiration in the new and the old, the everyday, and the cultural context that surrounds us. Aranza describes the journey of entrepreneurship as both fun and challenging. “Consolidating relationships with the artisan community leads us to improve the exchange of ideas and processes to continue designing and not lose competitiveness in the market.”
We spend so much time living with our objects. Your chair, table, and flower pot are all your roommates. We have to love them, don’t we? Your pieces should inspire, convey peace, or be meaningful. Connecting with them is vital.
Chuch stories are told in colors, shapes, and textures. They are told through the hands of artisans, through young imagination, and, of course, with sweetness.
You can find Chuch Estudio at Calle 52 #444 x 45 y 47, Centro. Be sure to make an appointment to visit them.
Editorial por Greta Garrett
Writer, director, and excellent human sandbag. Self-proclaimed funny person, fully bilingual, and passionate storyteller.
Photography by José Manuel Rodríguez for use in Yucatán Today.
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