Faux Bois & Trabajo Rustico in San Antonio, Texas

The following images of sculpted cement Faux Bois & El Trabajo Rustico represent both new and old works by a number of artists.  All of the work seen here is in or around San Antonio, Texas.  Whenever possible, the artists and installation dates will be attributed.

Title: The Landa Palapa
Location: Landa Library, San Antonio, Texas
Artist: Carlos Cortes
Date: 2008



Title: The Alamo Cement Company Palapa
Location: The Stone Werks Cafe at The Quarry, 7300 Jones Maltsberger RdSan AntonioTX
Artist: Dionicio Rodriguez
Date: CA 1920

NOTE:  The first image in the set below shows the current front of the “Stone Werks Cafe” where this work is located.  It was formerly the main office of The Alamo Cement Company.  This is but one of several major commissions Mr. Rodriguez executed throughout the San Antonio area for the company’s president, Charles Baumberger.

Title: The Alamo Cement Company Fence & Gate
Location: The Stone Werks Cafe at The Quarry, 7300 Jones Maltsberger RdSan AntonioTX
Artist: Dionicio Rodriguez
Date: CA 1920

NOTE:  This fence is at the same location as the Palapa above but was a separate commission by Mr. Baumberger.
(Also note that the twinkling lights visible in the close-ups were a later addition by the restaurant owners.)

Title: Southtown Log Fence & Grotto
Location: Private residence on the South side of San Antonio
Artist: Sam Murray
Date: Unconfirmed, probably CA 1940’s or 50’s

NOTE:  Sam Murray was a friend and contemporary of both Dionicio Rodriguez & Maximo Cortes who executed numerous works in the San Antonio area.  This particular work is on private property, but visible from the street.  He often incorporated quirky features into his work as evidenced by the axe embedded into the “log” fence as if the worker had simply forgotten it was there.  The axe head is real while the handle is sculpted cement media.

Title: Rodriguez Small Palapa/Bench
Location: Studio of Carlos Cortes
Artist: Dionicio Rodriguez
Date: Unconfirmed, probably CA 1920’s or 30’s

NOTE:  This is but one of several historic works that Carlos Cortes has managed to acquire and save.  He is dedicated to preserving as many as possible and has discussed the possibility of establishing a permanent home/museum for them to insure they remain accessible to future generations.

This particular Palapa demonstrates numerous outstanding features and constitutes an excellent example of Mr. Rodriguez’s skill at manipulating cement-based art media.

TECHNICAL NOTE:  The work above also underscores the benefits that can be derived from modern chemistry & technology simply not available when this work was constructed.  On close examination, Carlos & I have concluded that the bright white material covering many of the otherwise colorful surface areas just under the roof (see image #3 above) is actually free lime that has washed down from the un-sealed interior roof of the Palapa over several decades.