It’s early, I know, but people are already buying Christmas tree ornaments in the Minneapolis shop! We have some very unique decorations and some of them are online. They are all handmade. That means they were not made by the millions by a machine. No, they were actually designed and made by hand, painted by hand and have all of the charm of bigger pieces of Mexican folk art but in a smaller size. And they come from different cities and artisans all over Mexico. Click on the photo to take you to the online shop!
Have a question? Send us an email…
These amazing bird masks were purchased at an art fair in Chiapas. But, you’re thinking, these don’t look like Mexican masks. They look more Central American. And, guess what? You’re right. There is a mask maker from Costa Rica living in Chiapas making these incredible, one-of-a-kind pieces. They use a weaving technique more commonly seen in baskets. The color combinations, the design of the heads, those incredible beaks…all created by an artisan with a beautiful vision. These are unusual and would make a fantastic collection. They are available in the Zinnia Folk Arts online shop or click on the photo to take you there.
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?
The Sacred Heart is one of the most common motifs in religious folk art created in Mexico. The idea is that the physical heart of Jesus is a symbol of his divine love for humanity. The Mexican folk art sacred heart comes in various forms–with flames around it, with a crown, with a dagger through the center and sometimes with a crown of thorns–and all represent the same thing, Jesus’ compassion for humanity. In some Christian paintings it is depicted as a flaming heart shining with divine light, pierced by the lance-wound, encircled by the crown of thorns, topped by a cross and bleeding. The bleeding and wounds and crown of thorns allude to the manner of Jesus’ death while the fire stands for the transformative power of God’s love.
And of course, you know that almost everyone in Mexico is Catholic so these images are commonly seen throughout the country…
Here are a few interpretations of the sacred heart by some of Mexico’s folk artists. The two hearts above, hang on the wall. One is shiny nickel silver (5″ tall) and other is a patina-ed nickel silver or alpaca (7″ tall). They are $38 for the shiny one and $28 for the darker one.
The two sets of earrings below are made of silver and come from Taxco, Mexico. The lovely crowned earrings are $38 and the pendant, $30. The stunning, oxidized earrings with lovebirds and a flaming heart are $78. Click on the photo of the earring to take you to the online store.
Contact us through the form below if you are interested in purchasing the sacred hearts above or anything else!
To see what else we have for sale in the online shop, click here.
Sunday in Tlacolula
Let the festivities begin!
July 11, 2013 by spixl
Monday, we returned to Teotitlán del Valle for the Fiesta titular a la Preciosa Sangre de Nuestro Señor Jesucristo — the pueblo’s most important festival of the year. While special masses have been celebrated at the Templo de la Preciosa Sangre de Cristo (the village church) since June 30, Monday’s convite (procession) by the unmarried women in the village, kicked off the more public events.
Lovingly decorated canastas (baskets) waited in the church to be reclaimed by their owners, placed on their heads, and carried through the streets.
Crowds gathered in the plaza in front of the church and sidewalks and streets along the route. And then it began — with solemn drum beats, fireworks, church bells, marmotas (cloth balloons on a pole), and a band.
Little boys (and a few girls) carrying model airplanes (don’t ask me why), paper mache lambs, and turkeys followed.
And then came the neatly organized rows of girls and young women.For over an hour they wound their way up and down and around the streets of Teotitlán del Valle. The weather was perfect, no late afternoon thunder showers this year, and it was glorious.
Stay tuned, the festivities continue all week. And, check out Oaxaca-The Year After this week for blogger buddy Chris’s photos and commentary.
“So, why did you name the store, Zinnia Folk Arts?”
Did you know that zinnias are a flower native to Mexico? Zinnias come in lots of different colors and shapes and sizes just like Mexican folk art. I love the image of the zinnia and the possibilities for design and branding. They are annuals in Minnesota (maybe they are everywhere?) and we celebrated our first anniversary by handing out packs of zinnia seeds. We also are sending them to people who purchase something from the online shop through the month of May to celebrate our one year at 50th and Bryant in Minneapolis!
Flowers all types are pretty ubiquitous in Mexico…calla lilies, roses, poinsettas, marigolds…check out the flower markets in Mexico City if you are there. They are stunning! In addition to finding flowers in the fields, markets and homes of Mexico you will find flower images almost everywhere else. Flowers are a common motif in jewelry, in the many painted functional and whimsical objects of clay and wood and really, just about everywhere! And is it me, or do they all look like zinnias?
Ok, I guess these could be called roses. This bag was woven first, then made into a bag and it is really beautiful…
Folk artists also make them from paper. Tissue paper flowers are having a moment–take a look at Pinterest or any wedding blog. If you’re in the Twin Cities, stay tuned for the class we’ll be having at the shop on June 22–we’ll be teaching you how to make beautiful, tissue paper flowers. It will be part of the 50th and Bryant Street Fest from 12-3 that day…more details later!
Love to write limericks? Or never done it before but would like to win one of the four amazing pieces of Mexican folk art in the photo?
As you know, our First Birthday is coming up soon and to celebrate we’re offering a choice of one of the four pieces pictured here (all valued between $150-$225) to the winning testimonial limerick. Here are the rules:
1. Write an awesome limerick about Zinnia Folk Arts and what you love about it.
1.1 You may submit as many as you like.
1.2 Relatives and friends may submit anonymously by sending via snail mail to Zinnia, 826 W 50th, Mpls 55491. Put a number on the limerick so it can be identified.
2. Submit it to Anne at info@ZinniaFolkArts.com by Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 4:00 CST either in the shop or online.
3. The winner will be notified on Tuesday, May 7, 2013.
4. All entrants agree to permit Zinnia Folk Arts to use their limerick testimonial in online and shop promotion, with credit.
5. The winner chooses one of the four pieces featured in this photo–large wood tigre mask, large hammered tin mirror, large wood hand covered on both sides with milagros or the large blue (no lead) Metepec platter
6. Winner will pick up the gift in the shop at 826 West 50th St., Minneapolis. If the winner lives outside of Minneapolis, the winner will pay for shipping costs.
7. Questions? Please ask!
Here’s some inspiration!
There was a young belle of old Natchez
Whose garments were always in patchez.
When comments arose
On the state of her clothes,
She replied, “When Ah itchez, Ah scratchez.”
There was a young lady named Bright
Who traveled much faster than light.
She set out one day,
In a relative way,
And came back the previous night.