A handcrafted college campus

The Hacienda Santa Clara is a former maguey producing facility which was in ruins when Pablo and Barbara Marvin found the property over six years ago. They were looking for a suitable site to found a study abroad center, with the aim of presenting the best of Mexican culture and society, not to mention house an … Continue reading A handcrafted college campus

The precarious position of San Pablito and its amate paper

Sometimes success can be your own worst enemy.   If you have browsed the handcrafts for sale in the tourist areas of Mexico, you may have seen amate paper, quite likely as a brown background to intricate paintings in bright colors as seen the image above. If you are looking at the genuine article, the … Continue reading The precarious position of San Pablito and its amate paper

When life gives you radishes, make…

The tale of the Night of the Radishes   Each year, the city of Oaxaca has an odd Christmas tradition centered on oversized radishes carved into unusual shapes. These aren't the small round type often seen in US supermarkets. Though also red on the outside and white on the inside, these are enlonged monsters often … Continue reading When life gives you radishes, make…

Paper Mache as an urban folk art form

When most people, even Mexican handcraft/folk art collectors, think of the subject, our visions are mostly of rural Mexico, of places like Oaxaca and Chiapas, wth adobe houses, nature and often indigenous people teaching the craft through generations.  This is not without reason as the Mexican handcraft tradition has been buoyed by the tourism industry, … Continue reading Paper Mache as an urban folk art form

Tarahumara through the heart

When I saw this woman in Tarahumara dress selling Tarahumara crafts at the Feria Maestro del Arte in Chapala, I knew there had to be a story here.  That woman is Elizabeth Townsend, or Libby, whose connection to the Tarahumara is through the heart. Libby founded the Tarahumara Project, which she began in the United States … Continue reading Tarahumara through the heart

When Artists Have Trouble Seeing – – Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art Offers Help

by Doris Friedensohn and Amy Mulvihill   In July, 2015 Maestro Carlomagno Pedro Martínez -- Director of the Oaxaca State Museum of Folk Art and FOFA's long-time collaborator -- hosted a meeting of women folk artists of the Central Valleys to address their common concerns. One group emphasized health issues that challenge the wellbeing of … Continue reading When Artists Have Trouble Seeing – – Friends of Oaxacan Folk Art Offers Help

A slightly darker, Baroque take on folk sculpture

Jose Juan Garcia Aguilar comes from the world-renowned Aguilar family from the small town of Ocotlán de Morelos in the Mexican state of Oaxaca. The family’s feat is no small thing given Oaxaca’s reputation for producing many of the best artisans Mexico has to offer in so many different fields. Ocotlán itself is home to … Continue reading A slightly darker, Baroque take on folk sculpture

Perfection not within sight, but within reach

Sergio Alberto Ortega Álvarez is a 33-year-old musician and stringed instrument maker, who is located in the small community of Ajusco, in the far south of the Federal District of Mexico City. Although born and raised here, Sergio’s specialty is the traditional music of the state of Veracruz and the Huasteca region, which extends from … Continue reading Perfection not within sight, but within reach