Sculpting With Gum
Published Feb 1, 2010 - (Updated Dec 3, 2012)
Featured in Vallarta Lifestyles Magazine, Winter/Spring 2010 issue.
Thomas Adams may have commercialized chewing gum as we know it in 1871, but gum, or chicle, as it is known in Spanish, can be traced back to Aztec times, where it was used as a teeth-cleaning method. The term comes from the Náhuatl tzicli, which can be translated as “sticky stuff.” Chicle is obtained from chicozapote, a tree commonly found throughout Yucatán and Central America. It is curious, then, how the same “stuff” we put in our mouths also ends up transformed into tires for our vehicles! Raw chicle has been an artisan tradition in the state of Jalisco for centuries, particularly in the town of Talpa, where it is transformed into flowers, baskets and other small, edible objects.