If you like Mexican ceramics, you may be familiar with the majolica of “Capelo” from Guanajuato, Mexico. The pieces are made in the traditional way, on a wheel, fired several times at a very high temperature and in Capelo’s case, glazed with the most beautiful, subtle colors. We currently have a number of Capelo vases in the shop. Here are a few shots…
If you’re interested in any of these or would like to see more photos and get prices, contact us via the form below! Gracias…
You may know that I recently returned (last Monday) from a 12 day trip to Mexico. Everyone asks me if I had fun on the trip and I always have to pause just a moment before I say, “Yes, it was fun.” Because it is fun but it is also exhausting, exciting, difficult, frustrating, not relaxing, amazing, delicious, sometimes confusing and did I mention, exhausting? So many people associate Mexico with vacation, that I think it’s hard for people to imagine that I’m not sitting on the beach with a salty Margarita with Fernando!
I travel to Mexico several times a year to purchase folk art for the shop and I try to go somewhere new every time I go and I try to find new artisans every time I go. It’s the new adventures that are the most exhausting. The artisans I’ve visited before, I now know where to find, I’ve figured out the logistics of how to get there, how to pack everything, how to schlep it to the shipper, how to get everything back safely without too much breakage or loss.
But, the new artisans are sometimes much more difficult to find, requiring stopping in corner grocery stores and asking addresses, stopping people on the street and asking if they know so-and-so, driving down narrow cobblestone streets, driving down one-lane streets then having to back out, asking people again where the person lives and then getting answers like, “Oh, he lives in the house with the wood door.” Many of the addresses are something like, Mr. ABC, Calle XYZ, Sin Numero or XYZ Street, Without a Number. It’s not easy, amigos!
But also how rewarding! Many of the artisans I have visited are in very out-of-the-way houses in very out-of-the-way pueblos. The pleasure they have when I arrive (and the amazing warmth and generosity) and the pride of workmanship and of course, the excitement of being able to sell something lovely, more than compensates for the difficulty. And then of course the pleasure that these fine works of folk art give to my customers in the US, is also a great pleasure.
This is a little family that I found after asking 8 people in two towns and 5 different streets. It took an afternoon but as you can see, TOTALLY worth it.
How about you? Have you had any adventures searching for artisans in Mexico?
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!