Enjoy the Creativity of Mexican Handcrafts
For centuries, Mexican handcrafts have decorated the homes of those who have discerning tastes. From metals, like silver and copper, to pottery, blown glass, clay, wood and handmade paper, Mexico is a ‘Mecca’ of creative artwork.
Mexico is well known for both red clay and black clay creations. The latter is found mostly in the southern state of Oaxaca. For thousands of years, this area has been a center for black clay pottery with a satin sheen. The patina is created by rubbing the formed piece with quartz before it is fired. The most exquisite black pottery is created in the small towns surrounding the capital city, also named Oaxaca.
The state of Guanajuato, in central Mexico, is the hub for red clay artistry. This pottery is created by turning the clay on a wheel to create the shape, and then sanding, firing, glazing, decorating, and firing again. The end product will have a more glossy finish.
Metal art work creations are a specialty in many Mexican regions. The products made with copper are common in Mexico. Smaller pieces, including jewelry, pots and sculptures are the most popular purchases because of their portability. However, Mexico is also known for stunning hand-hammered table tops, sinks and bathtubs created by the local artisans.
Silver work is also a common handcraft medium, especially for jewelry. The prices for such pieces are especially inexpensive in Acapulco. Be sure that it is real silver by the stamped designation “Sterling,” or a number like “.925”, indicating that it is 92.5% silver.
Carved and painted woodcrafts are well-recognized Mexican works of art. Many of these figures include exaggerated shapes of animals, mythical creatures or local icons. They are usually decorated with bright glossy colors.
The sculptures, corbels and dishes are most popular. However, furniture like tables, chairs, headboards and office furniture are also in high demand. Many of these items are decorated with elaborate lathe turnings and carvings.
Mexican blown glass products include: drinking glasses, pitchers, lamps, Christmas ornaments and creative decorations. As with all handcrafts, each piece is distinctive. Therefore, someone who is looking for eight juice glasses will get similar, but unique items in each set.
These pieces of art are often made of colored glass. They may be fluted, patterned or creatively shaped. The painting of these pieces or the inclusion of an imbedded opaque design is common.
Mexican handcrafted paper is created primarily by the Otomi Indians from the area around San Pablito. The Indians use the bark of the Jonote, Amate, Xalama Limon or Mulberry trees. The various trees give a different color to the end product. Using a six step process, the native craftsmen create art paper that can be used for making decorative plates or pottery, religious icons, or even as a “canvas” for painting.
Handcrafted textiles may be the broadest category of Mexican Handcrafts. Clothing, rugs, wall hangings, and toys are produced by artisans throughout the country. Intricate, elaborate patterns and bright colors are indicative of these fabric art creations.
In summary, the art work of Mexico is varied and plentiful. And best of all, these Mexican handcrafts are a great value and may eventually be worth more than the price of purchase…