The word Retablo comes from the Latin retro -tabula, meaning behind the altar. They come in two forms Santos and Ex Votos. They were placed around the altar as objects of veneration, over time, coming into homes. Growing up we received a retablo with the Virgin of Carmel, she would travel around the town, eventually making it into my Grandma’s house once a year. It was a joyous time as we received her in the house and we felt her blessings, a rosary was prayed and eventually she would leave to the next home It was a wooden cabinet with a cross at the very top, two gate fold doors that would open to a glass enclosure with the image of the Virgin inside. It’s vivid in my memory and now as I recall those old memories I wished I had a picture of her. She was given a place of honor in the house!
As you can imagine creating this gave me such joy, recalling old memories of our traditions and of course my favorite grandma Mercedes. I transformed every piece of wood with either paint or paper or both. Then I used the same oxidizing techniques with the Dresden trim and the heart. I used enamels over the cross and distressed it again to tarnish the image.
There is a live video on the Tribe where I show you how to work the hinges and put it together. It’s such a genius concept Sandra has given us here. And it’s also a work of art how it all fits and gets finished with the perfectly fitted flower frame.
Here are some of the images I took while I was putting it together that may help you along the way
to me it helps when I bring the pieces out of the packaging to organize them as they will eventually fit
Here you can see the wood transformation, I also layered paper and as you can see I cut a square that doesn’t go into the grooves where the pieces will fit
I think the Sun Dresden just gives the perfect amount of flames to my exvoto and it also replicated the circle theme of my frame.
There’s just enough crackle around the edges in my corners to convey a sense of time. I hope creating with your own Retablo gives you as much joy as it gave me!