Wood working in a place with no trees

This is a small town located in the Bajio region of the state of Guanajuato. The name (Bajío) comes from the word "low" referring to the fact that the area is flat... at least by Mexican standards. Apaseo el Alto (to distinguish it from the nearby Apaseo el Grande) is a small colonial town on one … Continue reading Wood working in a place with no trees

Lacquerware: Not only from Asia

When most think of fine lacquerware, we think of the fine work that was perfected in Asia. However, the same technique, of hand-rubbing pigments into an object was developed independently in pre-Hispanic Mexico. In much of Mesoamerica, the technique was principally used to cover gourds or parts of gourds to create both dishes and decorative … Continue reading Lacquerware: Not only from Asia

Exquisite masks in a “fierce neighborhood”

"Peñon de los Baños" refers both to a rocky hill and a barrio (neighborhood) in the east of Mexico City, bordering Terminal 1 of the city airport to the north. It is a "barrio bravo" (lit. fierce neighborhood), a term for area noted not only for being very poor, but also somewhat closed and hostile … Continue reading Exquisite masks in a “fierce neighborhood”

Traditional embroidery on modern textiles

  Santa Monica is a small Otomi community in the municipality of Tenango de Doria, Hidalgo. It is situated in a very small valley, almost a ledge, where on one edge, you can look straight down to another, larger valley below. It is one of many small villages nestled among the cliffs and peaks of … Continue reading Traditional embroidery on modern textiles

Dots and skeletons

When entering Capula, a large sculpture of a "Catrina" smiles her tooth grin at you. She represents one of several ceramic traditions of this small, rural town, just 20 minutes drive from the Michoacan state capital of Morelia. The name is derived from "capulines,"  itself from the Nahuatl word for (mountain) black cherries (prunus serotina). The original … Continue reading Dots and skeletons