Summer is winding down in Minnesota, but if you aren’t quite ready to let it go (or you live in a warm weather climate all year-long–lucky you) take a look at this handmade Mexican folk art from the town of Delores Hidalgo. These cheerful Mexican crafts are made individually the old-fashioned way. Yes, on a wheel and then glazed and fired. They are safe for eating (no lead) and can go into the microwave and dishwasher. These somewhat low fired ceramics can chip so it’s a good idea to treat them with respect. (No juggling.)
Almost every region of Mexico makes objects out of clay. In the state of Guanajuato, Delores Hidalgo is known for making “talavera.” There are hundreds of shops selling a wide range of ceramics in varying levels of quality. Talavera is a style of ceramic work that was brought to Mexico by the Spaniards after the conquest in the 1500′s. The other city that is perhaps even more well-known for talavera and is home to many masters of the craft, is Puebla in the state of Puebla. Puebla is home to one of the best, Uriarte. The styles of the talavera in the two cities are somewhat different with Puebla being even more Spanish in tradition. Another offshoot of these functional Mexican crafts is “majolica” and that can be found principally in the city of Guanajuato. Gorky Gonzalez is one of the famous potters of Guanajuato and many people recognize the Gorky style immediately. Another well-known majolica artisan in the city of Guanajuato is Capelo.
The unpainted doll clay work of Teodora Blanco, who died in 1980, was an original in the history of Mexican folk art. She was well known while alive for creating the beautifully embellished clay “munecas” (dolls) representing Mexican women doing daily activities OR fantastic human-ish figures topped with animal heads and horns. Her unique and influential work was collected by Nelson Rockefeller and she was one of, if not the first, Mexican clay artisan to decorate her unpainted clay figures with “pastillaje” or attached decorative pieces of clay. Her exceptionally skilled children, Luis and Irma, continue her tradition today. We have numerous signed (TB) Teodora pieces acquired through an estate sale. We also have several pieces by Irma Blanco. Feel free to call or email with questions!
Here’s a colorful collection of ceramic trees of life from Izucar de Matamoros, Mexico. As I’ve mentioned before there are several regions known for their trees of life and in every region the design, color combinations and style are different. These brightly painted trees are very typical of the little town from which they come. They come in lots of sizes, are meant to hold candles (though they don’t have to) and traditionally are used during important festivals and holidays such as Day of the Dead and Christmas. Enjoy!
We’re getting ready for a big corner-celebrating event this weekend AND I wanted to give you all an idea of what you can do with Mexican dishes to celebrate Independence Day. Everything on the table is handmade in the great country of Mexico!
The beautiful red runner is from Chiapas, the glassware from Jalisco, the candlesticks from Puebla and the ceramics from Guanajuato…
Enjoy mis amigos!
And if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask…Zinnia
Mexico’s most prevalent folk art is made in clay. Every state and every region of Mexico has artisans making functional and decorative pots. Here’s a small sample of some of the ceramics we currently have in the shop in Minneapolis. Come on in and take a look!
Here’s a sneak peek of a small number of the items that were in the last shipment. This is from the trip I took in January and February! So unpacking everything is a little like opening Christmas presents for me. Everything will be going to the shop at 826 West 50th and will be available when we open but if you see something and can’t wait, let me know through this handy form….Saludos!
Heron Martinez was a master clay artisan who lived in Acatlan, Mexico during the 1960′s and 70′s. This 3 foot tall tree of life comes from his “white period.” The tree is made of clay, then fired, then painted with a white gesso, then painted in the lively colors so characteristic of Martinez. It was purchased around 50 years ago by a woman traveling in Mexico, eventually given to her nephew in Finlayson, Minnesota. Sadly, Heron Martinez is no longer living and none of his family members have carried on the tradition.
I found it on Craigslist recently and it’s now in my collection.
I’m going to bring it in for the Grand Opening of the Zinnia Folk Arts so everyone can enjoy it. It is truly amazing!