Tag Archives: jewelry

More About Mexico City: Museums

For the past week, before returning today to North Carolina for knee replacement surgery next week, I have been in Mexico City where some of the world’s best museums are found. I added on two days on my own before we started our fifth Looking for Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Art History Study Tour this year!

Highlights to share with you:

At the Franz Mayer Museum there is a special exhibition of the collection of Ruth Lechuga’s folk art collection. A physician and photographer, Ruth Lechuga left Vienna, Austria with her family at age eighteen to escape the Holocaust. Mexican people and their creativity became her passion. (Mexico received many who sought asylum when the United States closed its doors.)

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In another exhibit hall at the Franz Mayer Museum is the art of TANE, the Mexico City silver and gold jewelry and design studio. Their bench artists have been working in precious metals since 1942.

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What is not to admire? Even Oaxaca’s great artist Francisco Toledo has worked with TANE to design this extraordinary silver fish that you see above.

2014MuseumsB-83 2014MuseumsB-86          In addition to contemporary jewelry designs, TANE creates traditional hammered and woven silver pieces, like this exceptional hammered rooster chandelier, above left.  This is an extraordinary exhibition if you love the history of silver and silversmithing in Mexico. And, if you want to shop, there’s a TANE boutique at El Palacio de Hierro, Mexico City’s great department store, just a block from the Zocalo in the historic center of town. Pay attention to the Tiffany glass ceiling there, too.

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The courtyard patio of the Franz Mayer Museum offers a lovely respite for espresso, sweets and good sandwiches, plus a perfect venue for a fashion photo shoot where amazing posters of social and political commentary from around the world hang.

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We packed it in that day. Our next stop was to see the collection at the Soumaya Museum and the Jumex Museum in the wealthy Polanco district of Mexico City. These are both private museums owned by family foundations. The collections range from classical to contemporary.

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We were blown away by the extent of the Soumaya Museum’s collection of Rodin and Dali bronze sculptures, and a floor devoted to Sophia Loren in Mexico.

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Photos above show museum architecture and the office complex backdrop. This is not far from Chapultepec Park where we returned the next day to immerse ourselves in the art at the Rufino Tamayo Museum (the BEST museum store in the city, IMHO) and where we saw the temporary exhibition of Japanese-American artist Yayoi Kusama.

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Then, on to the Museum of Modern Art that houses Frida Kahlo’s The Two Fridas and Diego Rivera’s portrait of his second wife Lupe Marin, plus other important works. We followed this with dinner at Chef Alejandro Rios’ Guzina Oaxaca.

How do we get around Mexico City?  If I can’t get there on foot, I call UBER.  Yes, Mexico City is served by UBER and you can usually get a private, secure car and driver to come pick you up in less than ten minutes. All cars have seat belts, most drivers provide a small bottle of water as a courtesy, and there is no exchange of money and no tipping.  It’s the best!

Oaxaca Portrait Photography Workshop starts January 30.

Scheduling 2015 Looking for Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Art History Study Tour. Are you interested? Send an email!

Oaxaca Gold, Silver Filigree Earrings, Plus Woven Tapestry Bags for Sale

After a long day of travel yesterday, by bus from Puebla to the Mexico City airport, then to San Francisco with a connection to Orange County, California, I have settled into my son’s home in Huntington Beach.

Shoulder bag, approx. 14"x16" with leather straps, $85 + shipping.  Dyed with wild marigold and nuts.

Handbag, approx. 15″ high x16″ wide, $85 + shipping. Dyed with wild marigold and nuts, lined with strong zipper closure, strong leather straps approx. 28″ long.

I’m carrying with me two beautiful hand-woven, tapestry wool bags that with natural dyes, made by my friend Lupe from Teotitlan del Valle, and a group of gold vintage filigree earrings and a pair of silver filigree from my personal collection. All are for sale here.

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Lupe is a single mother of three sons ranging in age from elementary school to college. Her goal is that all boys receive a college education. She makes ends meet, uses her small income to pay tuition and has few opportunities to market her work.

Handbag, approx. 14"x16", $85 + shipping. Handwoven, leather straps, zipper, lined.

Handbag, approx. 15″high x16″ wide, $85 + shipping. Hand-woven, 28″ leather straps, zipper, lined. Dyed with cochineal, wild marigold, nuts.

Lupe is talented and resourceful. Recently, she got a grant from the state economic development office to take a course to learn leather-work. The leather is soft, the workmanship excellent. She is making lined shoulder handbags and I offered to help her sell these two.  The leather shoulder strap measurements are approximately 28″ long, end-to-end where they are attached to the bag.

Are you interested?  Send me an email.

Now, for the jewelry!

#1: Frida Kahlo Style 3-Tier Chandelier Earrings: Luscious 10K Gold Filigree, Pearl, Purple Stones, $495. plus shipping and insurance. 2-3/4″ drop from ear hole! Approx. 1-1/2″ at widest point of the two leaves.

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I came by this amazing pair of vintage 10K gold, pearl and stone earrings because another indigenous friend needed money to buy a refrigerator. How could I say no? The filigree work is gorgeous. She says her father gave them to her about thirty-five years ago. These earrings are substantial, elegant, dramatic. A true statement.

Selling these and all the rest  for the price I paid (smile).

#2. Juicy Red Vintage 10K Gold Filigree and Pearl Earrings. $195. + shipping and insurance.  Deep bezel setting. You don’t find workmanship like this now! 1-3/4″ long from the ear hole and 3/4″ wide.

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FiligreeJewelry_WovenBags-23#3. Mario Perez Sterling Silver Filigree Earrings, new. $225 + shipping and insurance.

Among the finest, most intricate filigree workmanship in Oaxaca. Mario has his gallery on the Macedonio Alcala walking street in Oaxaca. These earrings have secure French-style hooks. The dangling drop is about the size of a quarter. 1-1/2″ long from the ear hole, 1″ wide. For more detail, click on the photo.

#4. Vintage 8K Gold and Pearl Earrings. These dramatic dangles have a huge, oval, clear cubic zirconia stone that sparkle with every move. $165+ shipping and insurance. 1-3/4″ long from the ear hole and 3/4″ wide.

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#5. Vintage 10K Gold Filigree Traditional Zapotec Earrings from Teotitlan del Valle. These are probably at least forty years old. They were part of a family collection and the owner needed to raise money for home improvements. $385. + shipping and insurance. Hook goes from back of ear to front, with gold disk facing forward. 2-1/4″ drop from ear hole, 1-7/16″ wide.

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Oaxaca Show & Sale, July 25-26: To Benefit Artisans and Artists at Las Bugambilias B&B

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Update: Vintage Gold Jewelry Sale and Helping a Family of Women Home Improvement Project

Just want to tell you that yesterday I sold three pairs of earrings in response to the 10k Gold Vintage Oaxaca Jewelry Sale.  Plus, we raised $785 in cash gifts! Thank you so much. This amount of money goes a long way in Oaxaca where the average daily wage is 100 pesos or about $8 USD — if there is work.

Several readers wanted to help but didn’t want to buy earrings. They suggested I start a Kickstarter or Indiegogo campaign. Both take a hefty commission if you don’t raise much money. And, there is an immediacy to the family’s construction and home improvement project. The rainy season is starting soon.

So, I invited people to use PayPal to send money that I will convert from dollars to pesos to give to the family.

Want to help with the Home Improvement Project?

            Any size gift is important!  Send $$ to PayPal. My Account is                            oaxacaculture@me.com or I can send you an invoice —                                    gift plus 3% PayPal fee.

The response has been wonderful, generous, amazing, and heartfelt. One woman who made a gift said, “I believe hard-working women need to be able to live their lives with windows and shoes. It is a privilege (and a right) that in some few societies women have been able to control more financial resources than in others. I live in one of those societies, but even for us this is a recent development, not reaching back more than few decades. We are all sisters. We need to remember.” Her words express the feelings of many of us.

We know there are many women and families who need help — in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and around the world. It is always important for me to remember I can’t do everything and help every one, but I can think globally and act locally. Each of us can make a difference in someone’s life.

Vintage 10K Gold Oaxaca Filigree Earrings For Sale: Let’s Help a Family of Women

My neighbors want to fix up their house. They need a kitchen. They want to replace the fabric curtains with real windows to keep out the cold and fortify the walls and roof of an old adobe house to keep out the rain. They are a household of three generations of women: grandmother is in her late 80’s, mom is in her early 40’s, and the nine-year-old daughter loves to read. She needs new school shoes.

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Everyone works hard. Mom makes the some of the best tamales in town. She learned from her mother who learned from hers. She makes them by hand, grinds the corn on the metate then makes a dough, rolls the masa between her palms, presses it on a tortilla press, stuffs the dough with a chicken caught from the yard, fattened with organic corn then cooked, adds a secret family recipe of mole made with chicken broth, tucks it into carefully wrapped corn or banana husks, folded or tied neatly, and steams the packages over a water bath for an hour. Sometimes she makes hundreds. I know she is up every day at four in the morning. I buy these for 40 cents each. Sometimes I buy more than I need.

#1: Pearl, red glass, 10K gold dangle earrings with French wires. $265.

#1: Pearl, red glass, 10K gold dangle earrings with French wires. $265.

About the only thing of real value they have to sell to raise money for house repairs and construction is heirloom 10k gold jewelry.

Traditional filagree 10k gold with red glass, basket hoops, $175.

#2: Traditional filigree 10k gold with red glass, basket hoops, $185. SOLD to Judy G. Thank You!

I said I would help, so I am posting photos and I will bring the earrings to the U.S. when I leave Oaxaca on April 7 — if you care to make a purchase.  Let me know which you like and I will invoice you with PayPal (plus shipping). Because this is a fundraiser and the money goes directly to the family, I will add-on the 3% PayPal fee to your invoice.

Delicate tri-color stones with 10K gold leaf design, small, $65.

#3: Delicate tri-color stones with 10K gold leaf design, small, $65. SOLD to Tami. Thank YOU!

Zapotec women love their delicate filigree gold earrings. It is usually the only adornment they wear. They will receive a small pair of earrings as a gift for a birthday or a baptism, a larger pair for a quinciniera (15th birthday), and then later a more substantial pair as a wedding present.

Dangle with pearls, clear crystal, 10k gold filagree, $175.

#4: Dangle with pearls, clear crystal, 10k gold filigree, $175.

Husbands will often give gold earrings as a love token to wives. The size and intricacy of the earrings are a symbol of prosperity and status. 

3-tier dangle, 10K gold and pearls with bow, $175.

#5: 3-tier dangle, 10K gold and pearls with bow, $175. SOLD to Nancy C. Thank YOU!

Grandma took off her large gold filigree earrings tonight and asked me to sell them for her, too. I said, no. They are very old and I know what they mean to her.

Intense purple, pearls, 10k gold, $250.

#6: Intense purple, pearls, 10k gold, $250.

Home improvement project for my neighbors.

Home improvement project for my neighbors.

And, here is a beautiful tri-color bracelet with traditional mesoamerican greca design, inside circumference is eight inches. 10k gold, $300.

10k gold tri-color bracelet, $300.

#7: 10k gold tri-color bracelet, $300.

The family appreciates your consideration!