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All articles for tag “crafts”
Showing 1—25 of 60 results

Journey to Patamban, Michoacan Allan Cogan

The Fiesta de Cristo Rey has become as famous as many of the Day of the Dead rites in other communities around Mexico. It's the peak of the flower growing season in Michoacán and the residents not only gather the flowers to decorate the streets but they also paint the streets with incredible and startling floral designs. read more

Chapala's Feria Maestros del Arte: guardians of the folk art tradition Erin Cassin

"Art is a country's history and, before Mexicans could read or write, they were telling stories through their art. If this art disappears, so does history." read more

Mexico's Frida Kahlo in Oaxaca Handicrafts Alvin Starkman

The Mexican state of Oaxaca is renowned for its handicrafts. From black pottery and handloomed Zapotec rugs to silverwork and alebrijes, the collector will find a wealth of beautiful handcrafted work. ... read more

Mexican artisans of Lake Cajititlan John Pint

Halfway between Guadalajara and Lake Chapala in Western Mexico, lies little Lake Cajititlan. Although the lake produces great quantities of fish, you'll have a hard time finding a seafood restaurant al... read more

The New World Mexican Women of Tecalpulco, Mexico Reviewed by Rita Pomade

New World Women is a native women artisan group in Tecalpulco, Guerrero who decided to form a production cooperative. These skilled artisans are the original designers and producers, creating beautiful jewelry. Theirs is a cottage industry with a goal of perpetuating the region's craft tradition and creating a source of work that can keep their people at home — an alternative to migrating to urban centers or to the U.S. These enterprising women utilize modern means of communication. They communicate through their web page and via romantic novelas serialized on blogs. They write e-mail, post videos on YouTube, and have published an unusual book: The New World Mexican Women Workbook: How to Make Your Own Traditional Mexican Jewelry. read more

Antiques and collectibles in Central and Southern Mexico Alvin Starkman

The Sunday open air stalls at the Lagunilla in Mexico City, the expansive roadside shops just north of San Miguel de Allende, the stores and weekend marketplace at Los Sapos in Puebla, and good old fas... read more

Looms, weavers and the sacred snail on Mexico's Costa Chica Geri Anderson

"Don Luis, aquí. Aquí, Don Luis," yelled a group of white-shirted men. They were calling for passengers in the camionera central in Pinotepa Nacional near the border of Oaxaca and Guerrero. We had d... read more

Reynaldo in Mexico has handwoven Oaxaca rugs and more rugs Marvin West

Reynaldo the Rugman has a problem. He and his relatives have made more rugs (beautiful colors, skillful weaving) than he can sell. Reynaldo Vasquez Hernandez is a fifth or sixth-generation artisan in spring, summer and autumn and a traveling salesman — representing the entire clan — in winter. read more

Women potters of San Marcos Tlapazola, Oaxaca Alvin Starkman

Every Sunday Gloria awakens at 3:00 a.m., and begins preparing tejate, a frothy, tasty corn and cacao based drink, which she will offer for sale in the Tlacolula market. A couple of hours later, her si... read more

David Santos Alonso: ceramic art in the Mexico town of Cocucho Travis Whitehead

David Santos Alonso massaged the clay flower pot as stinging smoke skulked from the wooden cooking area. Inside the kitchen, his wife Maria Lydia prepared tortillas on a comal over a brick fogon next t... read more

Mexico's Mezcal Monkey: collectible ceramic folk art from Oaxaca Alvin Starkman


A hot collector's item, the ceramic mezcal monkey is designed to hold mescal, the spirit distilled from the baked, then fermented agave plant.
© Alvin Starkman, 2010
Designed to hold mescal, the Chango Mezcalero has become a very collectible folk art item whose history has been recounted infrequently, if at all. While by all accounts it originated in the State of Oaxaca, home of mezcal — the spirit distilled from the baked, then fermented agave plant — it's now highly sought after by collectors residing much further abroad.

The traditional Mezcal Monkey was used to hold, display and/or gift mezcal. The clay bottle is just that, usually with a stopper made of cork, or a small piece of corn cob. read more

Antonia Cruz Rafael: the ceramics of Ocumicho, Michoacan Travis Whitehead

They crept and crawled, oozed and slithered from the clay, prickly spiders and sneaky snakes and pesky lizards darting from the dark wet dough, turtles swimming to its surface, bug-eyed devils rising from the mud, all brought to life by the magic touch of Antonia Cruz Rafael. Ocumicho is part of a cluster of villages in western Michoacan known for its clay crafts. read more

A Michoacan tradition: the needlework artistry of Hermelinda Reyes Travis Whitehead

Her bold hands coax the thread through white cotton, relinquishing a fragment of the kaleidoscopic hues within her soul to cavort freely across the snowy landscape. The joints of her fingers moving wit... read more

Arte plumaria: the feather art of Martha Lopez Luna Travis Whitehead

The 52-year-old artisan and married mother of three sons only began working in arte plumaria in 1999, but she has already earned an impressive reputation for herself. A book featuring her work titled Mi Collar, Mi Pequeña Pluma (My Necklace, My Little Feather) contains photos of her images endowed with a calamitous beauty . . . read more

The artesanias of Michoacan: An introduction

A guide to the highways and byways of Michoacan's handcraft routes, through the highways and byways of the Soul of Mexico. read more

Jose Maria Alejos Madrigal: Generations of ceramic creativity in San Jose de Gracia, Michoacan Travis Whitehead

"I learned from my parents. It's been passed down from generation to generation." read more

Handmade Mexican Art from 3 de Mayo, Morelos and getting it home in one piece Julia Taylor

If you are planning a trip to the state of Morelos in central Mexico you'll probably want to enjoy a fun day of shopping in the small colonia of 3 de Mayo. (Yes, they spell it with a real number "Three... read more

Jacobo Angeles: A rich wood-carving tradition in Oaxaca, dating to pre-Hispanic times Alvin Starkman

Jacobo Ángeles' work is prominently displayed in The Smithsonian, Chicago's National Museum of Mexican Art, and elsewhere throughout the continent and further abroad, in museums, art colleges and gall... read more

Building a foundation to live in Teotitlan del Valle, Oaxaca Norma Hawthorne

Our world in Teotitlan operates on the trust of a handshake and commitment to personal agreement. We operate on the premise that it will all work out by the strength of our relationships. read more

Armando Lozano Ramirez, master sculptor and jeweler: Oaxaca's "man of steel" Alvin Starkman

Some 30 years ago, a youthful 27-year-old acquired a piece of machinery by chance. Not knowing exactly what to do with it, or how it could somehow become a positive factor in his life, he took a gamble... read more

The colorful wood carvings of Cuanajo, Michoacan Travis Whitehead

An endless number of approaches to familiar motifs show themselves throughout the town. A trogon, its cherry red neck gleaming against a body of emerald green, crawls up the side of a picture frame, f... read more

Catrina: skeletons take over the art of Capula, Michoacan Travis Whitehead

Inspired by the caricatures of lithographer Jose Guadalupe Posada, the elegant Catrina has her origins in Day of the Dead celebrations. Capula's Catrinas arrived only recently. They stand in the doorw... read more

Changing Dreams: A Generation of Oaxaca's Woodcarvers Reviewed by Rita Pomade

  You can't isolate yourself. Modernity arrives and replaces what you have. >Changing Dreams by Vicki Ragan and Shepard Barbash is a thoughtfully written and provocative book - one which should... read more

Did You Know? Most "bark paper" comes from wild fig trees Tony Burton

Besides being used as a kind of rough paper for records and correspondence, amate was also cut into human or animal forms as part of witchcraft rituals after which it would be buried in front of the pe... read more

Grana Cochinilla Fina: The Best Kept Secret in Oaxaca Alvin Starkman

Most tourists have no idea that only a couple of hundred yards off the main highway, a minute or two from the black pottery village, is one the most fascinating destinations that the state of Oaxaca ha... read more
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