Totomoxtle is a new veneer material made with husks of heirloom Mexican corn , Totomoxtle focuses on regenerating traditional agricultural practices in Mexico, and creating a new craft that generates income for impoverished farmers and promotes the preservation of biodiversity for future food security.
This is also a project that exemplifies the power of design to transform, repair, and promote social cohesion.
Mexican corn leaves
Totomoxtle operates in partnership with the community of Tonahuixtla, a small village of Mixtec farmers and herders in the state of Puebla. The husks collected from the harvest are now transformed by a group of local women into the veneering material thus creating much needed local employment. The leaves get dried and ironed into a backing.
Marquetry, furniture or wall panels
With this project, Fernando and the community of Tonahuixtla wish to stress the importance of preserving the ancestral corn seeds, not only because of their nutritional properties, but because they might hold the solutions for the climate challenges that lie ahead as many of these varieties have been bred for centuries in incredibly hot and dry conditions.