Paper Mache Horses

Today I’d like to share with you a cool handmade art called the Takatak Project.

You see, when I was a kid I used to have a paper mache horse or the “Taka” as it is popularly known in Paete, a province in Laguna. It was red and hand painted. I remember that it was one of those traditional toys that I truly loved, that and a set of mini clay pots (palayok) that one of the neighborhood kids broke (insert sad face here).  So when I happened to stumble on some info about the Takatak project, I immediately touched base with the people behind it. Thanks Mary for answering my questions!

Read on…

Who are the people behind the Takatak project?

“Claude Rodrigo Canete, Dexter Canete, Missy Galang and me (Mary Velmonte).  Believe it or not Takatak Project was born in a drinking session between friends who all work as advertising professionals.

Claude mentioned how she missed the days when she did not work on the computer and had a more direct connection to her medium. We all pitched our imagined pet projects and for some reason we all got fixated on the Taka project. The details are kind of blurry but I remember  we all  said “YES THAT’S IT!” and vowed to work on the project as enthusiastically as a bunch of drunk friends can.
But a month after that, the usapang lasing (talk over booze) project did not want to die. I drafted a grant proposal and somehow writing everything down helped make the project more solid and our objectives clearer. We pitched the idea to Craft MNL run by Marielle Nadal and Lex Reyes, and our friend who used to work for NCCA Jenny Orillos and we got invites (however far off and sketchy the engagement) to teach Taka painting to kids and adults.
Claude started sourcing for unfinished taka horse prototypes and the design work began.  I also bumped into an old schoolmate Gari Buenavista in Kamuning Market while sourcing for materials who gave me leads to the Alabama Street Fair.”
What was the inspiration behind the project?
“Our inspiration is our fond childhood memories of the red Taka horse. We want to keep the craft alive because it was part of our pinoy childhood.  All of us still remember the Batibot episode where the process of painting a Taka horse was shown. We have separately gone to Paete over the years and have noticed the people working on the Takas have gotten increasingly older.
We wanted to do something about what we felt was a dying craft, some young Paete craftsmen agreed with us when we went to Paete and interviewed both young and old craftsmen.
So we put up Takatak Project that aims to keep the Taka craft alive. We pegged 3 routes Takatak project will take: 1. Generate business for the traditional craftsmen 2. Educate the younger generation about Takas 3. Make the craft more contemporary”
How long does it take to make one Taka?
“Half a day max for a 12 x11 horse. Takatak project only involves itself in the process of painting the Takas and deciding which mold to use. We want to generate business for the traditional craftsmen in Paete.”

 What designs do you offer? Do you accept made-to-order designs?
“We are currently working on the 4×5″ , 9x 10″ and 11×12” horses.We plan to go into the bigger sizes too. Our designs are segregated into:
1. Prints-Made by Claude
2. CMY color block sets
3. Cloth applique
4. Make your own taka set with coloring materials and instructions (we can teach kids and adults too)
And then any custom made design. Just give us a two week lead time and we accept a minimum order of 2 takas.”
“In the works:
-We plan to go into the bigger sizes in the future. So far we have sold 3, 2 foot taka color blocks.
-We plan to make more premium taka kits for adults
Hopefully if everything goes well and our art, education and business modules work then we want to take on other crafts.”

For more information about the Takatak Project, visit their Facebook page here. They also have an upcoming exhibit in 10 Alabama called “Takatak Attak! Modern Takes on the Traditional Taka” on July 21 (In time for the July 25 Feast of Paete).
Thanks for letting me feature your work!
I already ordered my own Taka. I’m sure it will sit nicely on my office desk. Can you guess which design I got? 🙂

6 thoughts on “Paper Mache Horses

  1. i love this! (found your blog via mommy fleur) i used to have this when i was younger but i had the traditional red horse naman that was featured in batibot. i’ll go to their shop na lang 😀 thanks so much for sharing this!

    • hi neva! glad you liked that post. i had the same taka too when i was young! and yes, the one shown in batibot. hehe. thanks for dropping by my blog! 🙂 i actually follow yours. 🙂

  2. I also had the red taka when I was a kid. Hmmm. When we find time, gagawa kmi for Akira (kuripot mode: On)

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