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chinagringo


Jun 13, 2009, 5:05 PM

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Recommendations?

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Am working on the planning for an Agosto trip to MX. We are leaving the 14th driving from Albuquerque towards the Lake Chapala and Guadalajara areas. Have some business related tasks in Tonala and plan to attend the EnArt Show in Tlaquepaque the 18th & 19th. From the 20th through the 27th, we plan to seek out sources of additional products to import from the various towns in the Lake Patzcuaro area. So far, we have familiarized ourselves with Quiroga, Capula, Tzintzuntzan, Patzcuaro, and Santa Clara del Cobre. Would appreciate any additional recommendations of towns to visit and what they have to offer. In keeping with our so-called business model, we are not looking for the everyday products that one sees exported from MX but rather the unique items that really stand out in the marketplace. From the Lake Patzcuaro area, we will head for Leon, Guanajuato, and San Miguel areas to take a look around since we have not experienced those areas. Any recommendations for these areas would also be appreciated.

At the present time, we are importing copper sinks from Santa Clara del Cobre, fine furniture from Patzcuaro that utilizes copper and reclaimed wood, Onyx and Travertine sinks from Puebla and metal art from two sources in Tonala.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



(This post was edited by chinagringo on Jun 13, 2009, 5:22 PM)



toddmc


Jun 13, 2009, 5:26 PM

Post #2 of 35 (10736 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Recommendations?

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There are two towns that immediately come to mind.

The first is Cocucho, with their very distinct ceramic vessels. About 80 kilometers west of Patzcuaro.
Then not too far from there is the village of Ocumicho
With striking demon inspired ceramic work.

I have some photos if you would like to see the sort of work done.
Cocuchas in Cocucho.

Patzcuaro Day of the Dead Market


Another couple of villages of possible interest are:
Zinapecuaro: for Polychomatic pottery- west of Morelia
San Jose de Gracia: for Pineapple pottery - South of Lake Chapala
You will find pictures of those in the second link above.

Good Luck!

Todd


(This post was edited by toddmc on Jun 13, 2009, 5:29 PM)


toddmc


Jun 13, 2009, 5:30 PM

Post #3 of 35 (10733 views)

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Re: [toddmc] Recommendations?

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You might also find this story of interest

http://www.mexconnect.com/...acan-an-introduction


sparks


Jun 13, 2009, 8:26 PM

Post #4 of 35 (10713 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Recommendations?

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I'd vote for Cocucho as well for unusual. Exotic copper will be one of a kind ... but I do like the light and bright reed weaving from Tzintzuntzan

The potters of Cocucho - Michoacan - Mexico
http://sparks-mexico.com/...7/cocucho/index.html

Sparks Mexico - Sparks Costalegre


(This post was edited by sparks on Jun 13, 2009, 8:27 PM)


ken_in_dfw

Jun 13, 2009, 10:17 PM

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Re: [chinagringo] Recommendations?

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If you make it to Guanajuato, I highly recommend a very short (15 minute) trip north to Santa Rosa de Lima in the mountains. You'll find some of the finest Majolica pottery in all of Mexico and some fabulous conserves by the women of Santa Rosa, all in a pristine mountain environment.

It's truly one of the most pleasant little trips in Mexico.

Ken


Anonimo

Jun 14, 2009, 9:31 AM

Post #6 of 35 (10668 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Recommendations?

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Thanks for that tip about the conservas makers of Sta Rosa de Lima. We will try to follow up on that this weekend.

Saludos,
Anonimo


chinagringo


Jun 14, 2009, 9:46 AM

Post #7 of 35 (10666 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Recommendations?

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Would like to thank Todd, Sparks and Ken for their recommendations! After viewing the various provided links, we will be compiling a "hit list' the various towns to visit. Some comments:
1) The pottery from Cocucho is intriguing and we could see some of it fitting into the home we are building. As far as importing goes, the size and weight is somewhat of a deterrent. In discussing matters with our freight consolidator - large pottery presents special problems. Not the least of which is packing and breakage in shipment. I would guess that Sparks is right on with the buy for $50 & sell for $500 comment.
2) Smaller pottery/ceramic pieces such as Day of the Dead figurines are of interest. We did find some rather nice figurines in Capula at very attractive prices on our trip last year.
3) Pineapple pottery from San Jose de Gracia is of real interest. We purchased a number of personal pieces in Tzintzuntzan last year but that is on our list of items to consider.
4) We did make a number of personal purchase of the "light and bright reed weaving" from Tzintzuntzan. Have considered purchasing some of those items for import but one has the opposite problem from pottery. The items are very light but somewhat bulky. The carrier rates for pallet loads are based upon weight and thus one would be paying for bulk without the weight adding a fairly high freight factor.
5) I am not clear with respect to Spark's comment on one of a kind "Exotic copper" and what town he is referring to. We do plan to attend the National Copper Festival in Santa Clara del Cobre that runs from Agosto 11 - 22.

Some items that would be on our "interest list":
1) Carved wood vigas. We saw a number of woodworkers in Tzintzuntzan and in the small town on the outskirts on the Patzcuaro side. Some of these carvings showed real talent and the prices were very right compared to what similar vigas sell for here in NM. While it would be ideal to bring back all of the vigas we need for our new home, it would be kind of impractical. At this point, we are thinking of purchasing two really intricate ones to use in our interior as we could fit those in our van for the return trip. Long term, we would really like to take a hard look at shipping north in bulk.
2) Masks - wooden, leather, copper and pottery. We have seen some very unique leather masks at a couple of stores in Tlaquepaque but need to find a direct source.
3) Light sconces - metal, copper or pottery. We will have to sell these as light covers in the U.S. rather than as sconces since once one categorizes them as sconces or a light fixture - then they fall into the must be approved by UL Labs. This is even true when they contain no wiring or light fixture.
4) Cantera stone products. We are really intrigued by the large cantera stone facility along the highway outside of Tzintzuntzan. That is truly an amazing sight to see! Shipping would be an issue.
5) On the edge of Patzcuaro, we noticed a number of shops selling aluminum patio furniture. Was curious if this is made in the area or simply brought in?

Unlike most importers, we are not in this business strictly for the huge markups but rather would like to expose people NOB to some of the finer crafts that Mexico has to offer. So much of what one sees up here is the border junk at huge prices to an uneducated consumer. Not only do we wish to go directly to the source of any product but we also want to be able to tell their story and history.

Thanks again!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



(This post was edited by chinagringo on Jun 14, 2009, 10:06 AM)


toddmc


Jun 14, 2009, 10:32 AM

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Re: [chinagringo] Recommendations?

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Hello

Tocuaro, between Patzcuaro and Eronga, has some outstanding mask makers.

Tlalpujahua, in the eastern part of the state, is very well know for its cantera!

The aluminum patio furniture is made in Tzurumutaro (right on the edge of Patzcuaro), my understanding is it is made there with recycled transmissions!

Todd

Happy Hunting!


(This post was edited by toddmc on Jun 14, 2009, 10:33 AM)


tashby


Jun 14, 2009, 3:39 PM

Post #9 of 35 (10633 views)

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Re: [kenhjr] Recommendations?

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I'll second the trip up to Santa Rosa. And please. Do yourself a favor and eat at the big, terra-cotta colored restaurant right in the middle of town. It looks like an institution because it is one. There was a pork in chile sauce on the menu that I was leaning toward so I asked the waiter if it was chile verde but he said, "no". I hemmed and hawed but ordered it anyway. It was fantastic!

P.S./Edit: I lost my head thinking about that pork dish and forgot this thread is about crafts/artesania recommendations. Since you'll be haunting the Patzcuaro area anyway....

I saw the work of Mario Lopez at an artesania festival last year. His studio/taller is in Ihuatzio on the shores of Lake Patzcuaro. He does amazing things with reed - "chuspata" - that grows along the Lake. I know, I know.....reed sounds kinda boring, but wait til you see his work. (His isn't an ancient technique, by the way, if that matters.)

http://www.tzumindi.com/


(This post was edited by tashby on Jun 14, 2009, 3:50 PM)


mexhapati

Jun 16, 2009, 9:20 AM

Post #10 of 35 (10566 views)

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Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato!

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Thank you for asking?? lol! Even if you don't visit our factory/showroom, be sure to come to dolores hidalgo between Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende. There are literally thousands of ceramic factories here for you to browse. As in all artesan towns you have to research and filter out the "everyday" stuff from the choice pieces, but that's half the fun..

We like to do unique pieces but of course there is more volume in the less expensive, more common formats...or we can do your custom designs. If you're coming in August just send me an idea of what you like and we can make up a few pieces.

Note that dolores hidalgo is famous for being the cradle of mexico's independance. You can also find a lot of antiques, mesquite furniture, and other products. Jose Alfredo Jimenez, the renowned mexican composer was born and is buried here in Dolores. A visit to his grave site makes for an interesting quick side trip.

For more, you can write me at rolguin@mexhapati.com or visit www.mexhapati.com or feel free to call: 52 418 182 2098 Can also point you in the right direction for places to stay, where to eat, etc..

Thanks again,

Rene Olguin
René Olguín Muñoz
www.mexhapati.com
ph (52) 418 182 2098
cel(52 418 105 6160

(This post was edited by jennifer rose on Jul 11, 2009, 2:53 PM)


chinagringo


Jul 11, 2009, 12:42 PM

Post #11 of 35 (10345 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Recommendations?

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So far, we have identified the following Michoacan cities/towns/villages to visit: Sahuayo, Jiquilpan, San Jose de Gracia, Zamora, Patamban/Ocumicho, Cocucho, Paracho, Urapan, San Lorenzo, Capacuaro, Ziracuaretiro, Apatzingan, Erongaricuaro, Tzintzuntzan, Quiroga, Santa Fe de la Laguna, Capula, Tocuaro, in addition to Patzcuaro, Santa Clara del Cobre and Moreila.
Note: Hopefully I managed to spell them all correctly - if not, I apologize.

Any additional recommendations?
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



gpkgto

Jul 11, 2009, 3:05 PM

Post #12 of 35 (10321 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Recommendations?

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"Any additional recommendations?"

Wear bullet-proof vests. A friend visiting his sister in Patzcuaro was witness to a shoot-out. He said his mother is now terrified to be in Patzcuaro (they live nearby).


chinagringo


Jul 11, 2009, 3:40 PM

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Re: [gpkisner] Recommendations?

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Any details such as when this happened and the circumstances? I did read of the body being tossed in the main square not long ago and a few other scattered incidents over the past 6 or 8 months. We are planning to run the gauntlet between the New Mexico border crossing and Chihuahua and pretty much assumed that it would be relatively quiet after that. El Paso/Juarez has been off our list of crossing points for a long time and given the daily activities there, may never be an option.
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



(This post was edited by chinagringo on Jul 11, 2009, 3:44 PM)


jennifer rose

Jul 11, 2009, 3:47 PM

Post #14 of 35 (10304 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Recommendations?

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Unless you're a narco or law enforcement -- or a wannabe -- you'll be all right. They're really not interested in you -- or the bad press they'd get if you got in their way.

http://www.cambiodemichoacan.com.mx/vernota.php?id=104881

The tourist trolley was up and running, right past the scene of the crime, an hour or so later. Life goes on.


jreboll

Jul 11, 2009, 4:06 PM

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Re: [gpkisner] Recommendations?

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If we used the same criteria in the United States we would never leave our homes.


chinagringo


Jul 11, 2009, 4:20 PM

Post #16 of 35 (10299 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Recommendations?

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Since my Spanish is so marginal, I had to plug the article into a translator to get the jist of what happened. While the article was dated 7/11 but I was unclear just when this event happened. We certainly do not partake of any activities that would be of interest to the Narco boys!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



jennifer rose

Jul 11, 2009, 4:24 PM

Post #17 of 35 (10296 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Recommendations?

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In Patzcuaro, the action took place around 7 a.m. this very morning.

For an on-the-spot rendition in English, see
http://tzuru4.blogspot.com/...nas-and-bullets.html


gpkgto

Jul 12, 2009, 9:47 AM

Post #18 of 35 (10235 views)

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Re: [jreboll] Recommendations?

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"his mother is now terrified to be in Patzcuaro "

While I agree that we all carry on our normal activities after these events and that the narcos do not intend to harm innocent people (especially foreigners)--the point that disturbed me was that a Mexican lady had expressed fear about visiting her daughter in Patzcuaro. When Mexican people get upset about these things I do too, because that indicates to me that there may actually be a reason to be fearful. This family was the victim of extorsion by the Zetas a couple years ago (they own a business in Patzcuaro), so the narco activites are very real to them.


Gringal

Jul 12, 2009, 10:40 AM

Post #19 of 35 (10223 views)

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Re: [jennifer rose] Recommendations?

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I'd recommend that blog as not only informative about the "way things are" in that area, but as a delightful take on life in Mexico, in general. The man has a wonderful way with words.


chinagringo


Jul 12, 2009, 10:58 AM

Post #20 of 35 (10217 views)

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Re: [gpkisner] Recommendations?

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I would have to think that such an organized series of attacks would result in additional military troops being dedicated to the area. Since our route from New Mexico includes driving the Juarez to Chihuahua corridor, I have a tendency to watch the news out of that area quite closely. At one point, they had reduced the killings in Juarez to approx. one per day but about a month ago, the rate climbed back up to 8 or 9 per day. At that point, they moved in an additional 1500 troops which I believe made the total about 6500. In view of the fact, that Calderon hails from Morelia, I would think something might happen fairly quickly!

These latest events certainly makes one stop and think about the overall sanity of touring Michoacan as is our plan for 6 days in August. While our travel lifestyle is not such that would tend to bring attention to ourselves, being an innocent in the wrong place at the wrong time, is within the realm of possibility. Still thinking on the topic!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



RickS


Jul 12, 2009, 8:12 PM

Post #21 of 35 (10160 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Recommendations?

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"These latest events certainly makes one stop and think about the overall sanity of touring Michoacan...."

While each of us will need to make this kind of call based on our own judgment, mine in this case would be to 'tour on, baby!'.

While I wish not to diminish the seriousness of the shootings that are going on in Michoacan and elsewhere, I find myself needing to put them into perspective. When, prior to retirement, I was asked by my company to take a business trip to Baltimore, I fell all over myself saying 'yes!'. And after work and on the weekend I took in the many sights using public transportation, sometimes going through 'rough?' areas. The same was true about Washington D.C. And I loved to visit New Orleans (at least I did before Katrina).

My point is that New Orleans leads that nation in per capita murders ..... followed by Baltimore and Detroit (I think). And D.C. ain't too far down on the list either. But I willingly went there (not Detroit!) and thought absolutely nothing about the murder statistic rate. We all have, I'm sure. And although I have NO data to back this up, I'll bet that the murder rate in the whole of Michoacan INCLUDING the 'current' drug related cop shootouts comes nowhere close to approaching that of the places I just mentioned.

So, count me among the ones who is looking forward to visiting Michoacan (and Queretaro and Veracruz and Oaxaca and Chiapas) this winter. Of course I won't 'leave my brains' NOB when I come down, but I surely don't see ANY current reason to stay away. In fact, I'm betting (am I allowed to make two bets in one post??) that the likelihood of my getting wiped out is much greater due to a traffic accident on my 4-5,000 mile trip than it is by a stray bullet in Michoacan.

Now New Orleans.... that's another story!


esperanza

Jul 12, 2009, 9:01 PM

Post #22 of 35 (10156 views)

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Re: [RickS] Recommendations?

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Obviously everyone is entitled to his or her opinion about what's happening in Michoacán. But let me say this: if you don't live here in the middle of it, you don't have a f***ing clue what you're talking about. You should simply stop offering opinions. This terrible week of hell in Michoacán--on top of everything that has happened here since September 15, 2008--bears no resemblance to any kind of crime in the United States.

None of you has ever 'heard' me say anything like that before, which might give you some idea of how this week's horrors have affected at least some of us. I live about five blocks from the street where the gun battle occurred on Thursday night/Friday morning--in an upscale, exclusive neighborhood--and I don't ever again want to hear the sounds that I heard starting at 1:55AM. When I tell you that it was a relief to hear 'ordinary' gunshots pop-pop-popping, and that I could go to sleep knowing what those sounds were, it should tell you all something about the gravity of the situation here.

I live here, and I'm staying because this is my country and my home. But if you're a tourist, my opinion is that this is not the time to wander around clueless in Michoacán.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









chinagringo


Jul 13, 2009, 4:34 AM

Post #23 of 35 (10135 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Recommendations?

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Thank you for your comments Esperanza and I can assure you that your points are well taken!

However, I am a bit confused. I was under the impression that the attacks happened Saturday morning. Either we are talking about two differing incidents or the news media has their facts wrong again!
Regards,
Neil
Albuquerque, NM



esperanza

Jul 13, 2009, 5:07 AM

Post #24 of 35 (10131 views)

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Re: [chinagringo] Recommendations?

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We are talking about a lot of different 'incidents'. I referred to the Thursday/Friday 'incidents' at 2:00 AM. On Saturday during the day, there were eight different 'incidents' at Federal police posts all over the state of Michoacán. In addition, various other bodies were found in different parts of the state, bodies of people presumably assassinated by narcotraficantes.

'Incidents' is a very polite euphemism. Why don't we call it what it is? Michoacán today is living in a period of chaos, mayhem, lawlessness, and terror.

http://www.mexicocooks.typepad.com









jennifer rose

Jul 13, 2009, 5:15 AM

Post #25 of 35 (10129 views)

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Re: [esperanza] Recommendations?

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Characterizing the situation in Michoacan as a period of chaos, mayhem, lawlessness, and terror" is taking things a bit far. Life goes on here as usual. People go shopping. People buy groceries. People go to restaurants. People go to work. Simply take the precautions you would anywhere in the world, and you will be fine. It's still less dangerous here than in the U.S. any day of the week.
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