Tag Archives: folk art

Sunday Specials: Take 20% Off Mexican Textiles+Folk Art

It’s Post-Black Friday and I continue to review my collection and offer some of these treasures to you. Most of these pieces are new, purchased from the makers when I visited their villages. My tendency is to buy to support the makers.

TAKE 20% OFF ALL LISTED PRICES BELOW. See post from November 27 for MORE.

How to buymailto:norma.schafer@icloud.com Tell me the item you want by number. Send me your mailing address. I will send you a PayPal invoice after you ID your choices. The invoice will include the cost of the garment + $12 mailing. If you want more than one piece, I’m happy to combine mailing. I’ll be mailing from Taos, NM. Next day mailing guarantee if you order and buy before December 10. On December 11, I’m in transit to return to Oaxaca and all sales done until April 2022, unless you want me to mail from Oaxaca!

Why buy a made-by-hand item? Since I buy directly from artisans and pay them outright, your purchases, in effect are a direct benefit to those makers. Most are women whose families have suffered from lack of tourism during covid. Most live in rural areas of Oaxaca far from the tourist centers. The men in their families are subsistence farmers and have no market for their crops other than to put basic food on the table: corn, beans, squash. The rest of their needs come from the work that women do — the weaving, bead making, sewing, etc. Rural Mexico is based on a cash economy.

So, thanks so much for your help and support. Happy Holidays.

#1128.1 — Fancy apron, size small, San Miguel del Valle, Oaxaca. Shoulder to hem measures 29” and side to side across front is 21” wide. Free-form machine embroidered. $95
SOLD #1128.2 Hand-woven wool tote bag/overnight bag/shopping bag with zipper closure, lined with interior pockets, sturdy leather straps. All natural dyes. 13” x 17” with 3” gusset. I watch them make these in Teotitlan del Valle — perfect in every way. $175.
#1128.3 — Woven wool and cotton shawl or throw dyed with wild marigold flowers in San Pablo Villa de Mitla by my friend Arturo. Wool weft/cotton warp. Cozy and soft. 18” wide x 78” long. $95.
SOLD. #1128.4 Multi-strand, multi-colored beaded necklace from San Juan Chamula, Chiapas. All the ladies adorn themselves in these fanciful necklaces and the fashion has migrated to other villages surrounding San Cristobal de las Casas. Adjustable ties. $65
SOLD #1128.5. Coconut shells and cacao bean necklace from the tropical east coast of Mexico near Veracruz. Strung on a sturdy, adjustable cord. Set your own length! $53
#1128.6 100% soft wool shawl or throw made by my friend Arturo in Mitla. Call it what you will: window panes, hop scotch, grid design created with cochineal natural dye and natural white wool. Hand-knotted fringes. 27” wide x 70” long. $125
#1128.7 Asymmetrical graduated necklace with all handmade matte black clay beads from San Bartolo Coyotepec, Oaxaca. Front closure features a dangling carved ball embellished with flowers and leaves. 21” long. Use it as a layering piece. Stunning alone or with sterling silver chain. $135
SOLD #1128.8. Top. Embroidered floral face mask with gold tones. Protect yourself in hand-made style. $18 and SOLD #1128.9 Bottom. Embroidered floral mask with peach tones. $18
SOLD #1128.10. Ruby red beaded necklace from Chiapas. Adjustable tie. $55
#1128.11. Natural colored coconut shell and cacao bean necklace from the Veracruz region of Mexico. Sturdy adjustable cord. $48
SOLD #1128.12. Cherry red amber expandable bracelet from Simojovel, Chiapas. This color amber is rare. One size fits most. $65
SOLD 1128.13 Another terrific Holiday Red beaded necklace from Chiapas. Adjustable tie neck. $55.
SOLD #1128.14 Backstrap loom woven hat band, made in Chiapas. $35
#1128.15 Nuts and cinnamon sticks necklace. $20
#1128.16. Hat band woven on the back strap loom in Chiapas, Mexico. $35

Mexico Home Decor Collectibles Sale

Today, we are featuring three Ex-Votos, whimsical folk art paintings on metal. The vintage ones were painted on tin or whatever found materials the naive, untrained artist could find. They were offered at shrines and spiritual places for life-saving thanksgiving. I have one vintage piece for sale below. The other two are reproductions painted by Mexico City artist Rodriguez. Plus, hearts and mirrors, and more. 19 pieces total.

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services at check-out. We also accept Venmo and Zelle. I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal. All sales final.

19-3/4″ wide x 9-1/2″ tall. Reproduction ex-voto by Mexico City artist Rafael Rodriguez. $165

“Pascual Ortiz al estar trepado en la locomotora me calli de tatema y casi me la rompo y dedico esta laminita. Chihuahua a 4 de octubre 1937.”

Vintage rare ex-voto, 10″ w x 8-1/2″ tall. Was $595. Now $295

It says: Gracias a la virgencita y el niño por senar a mi hijo enfermo de Tifoidea a anto de morir. El sans infinitamente agracidas. (signed) Lupe Ma. Miraflores Lopez, Chapala, Jalisco. (Thanks to the little virgin and her son for saving my son from typhoid before he died. He is infinitely thankful.) Measures 10-1/4″ x 8-1/2″

SOLD. Set of 3 Zapatista wall plaques, Chiapas. 4-1/4″ high x 6″ wide. $25
Venustiano Perez dedicates this ex-voto, 9-1/2″ wide x 7-1/2″ tall. Oaxaca 1938. $145

“Venustiano Perez dedica esta laminata por salvarme de una alimaña bien grandota. Oaxaca a 23 de Abril de 1938.” Reproduction by Mexico City artist Rafael Rodriguez.

SOLD. Happy Valentine’s Day: Oaxaca wood + gold leaf heart. 6-1/2″ w x 8-1/2″ tall. $45
SOLD. Happy Valentine’s Day. Oaxaca tin heart mirror. 4×5″ $10
SOLD. Rare Zegache carved wood + silver leaf mirror, 6×6″ round $75

Zegache is the workshop founded by Rodolfo Morales in Santa Ana Zegache near his home in Ocotlan. It was a training ground for woodworkers to create pieces in the style of the European colonial church decor with hand-carved pieces embellished with paint and either gold or silver leaf. The technique was used in the restoration of several churches funded by the Morale Foundation. These pieces are no longer being made. They are wonderful, reflective wall decor for any room.

SOLD. Zegache rare hand-carved wood with gold and silver leaf, 6″ round. $75

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services at check-out. We also accept Venmo and Zelle. I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal. All sales final.

SOLD. Chiapas, hand-wrought iron mirror, 7×9″ $55
Huichol yarn art on wood, 6″ square. $75

Beautifully rendered, this yarn “painting” by the Mexican Huichol tribe from Nayarit depicts reverence for corn, the harvest and the spiritual, healing properties of peyote.

Chiapas, Los Leñateros paper mask. 10×9″ $40

Los Leñateros is the hand-made paper studio in San Cristobal de las Casas, Chiapas, where artisans make art books, boxes, and picture frames from recycled paper. They use a stationery bicycle to power the paper shredding and then put the paper mixed with flowers and seeds into bins to process. Sometimes, they create these colorful hanging masks that twirl in the breeze.

SOLD. Oaxaca painted gourd bowl. 2-3/4″ tall x 5″ diameter. $45

This piece reminds me of aboriginal painting from Australia or the pointillist style of the French Impressionists. It is from the studio of Arrazola artist Bertha Cruz Morales. Great for serving dried nuts.

SOLD. Is it an anteater? Chiapas miniature stuffed animal. $25

Gosh! Isn’t s/he cute? Hand-woven wool and embroidery is used to fashion this precious stuffed animal made in San Juan Chamula, Chiapas.

SOLD. Reindeer with red eyes. 3″ long x7″tall. $25

Oh, this one is made from handwoven natural sheep wool. Antlers are wrapped in shimmering gray yarn. Red embroidery outlines the black eyes and of course, there is a black nose just waiting to nuzzle you. Beautifully crafted.

What About These RUGS? When you purchase, you are supporting the weaver. Help me send funds back to Oaxaca with your purchase.

Indigo ikat + zapote negro, 22×33″. $295 $275
Cochineal, indigo, marigold, pomegranate, 23×23″ $195 $175
Indigo, cochineal, pomegranate dyed wool, 23×23″ $195 $175

To Buy: Please email me normahawthorne@mac.com with your name, mailing address and item number. I will mark it SOLD, send you a PayPal link to purchase and add $12 for cost of mailing. Please DO NOT SELECT buying goods or services — so we don’t pay commissions. We also accept Venmo and Zelle. I can send you a Square invoice (+3% fee) if you don’t use PayPal. All sales final.

Mexico Art Show Brings Oaxaca Artisans to Lake Chapala, Jalisco–Party Time

The 18th annual Feria Maestros del Arte happened last weekend at Lake Chapala, Jalisco, about 40-minutes from Guadalajara. I had never been before and I decided it was time! Plus, it gave me a chance to spend some time with friends Chris and Ben, who moved to Ajijic from North Carolina last year.

Estela Montaño with natural dyed wool pillow cover

I knew that Oaxaca would be well-represented among the 87 artisans participating. I was especially eager to see Teotitlan del Valle weaving friends Estella Montaño and Family, and mother-son team Maria de Lourdes Lazo Sosa and Isaac Armando Lazo.

Maria de Lourdes and son Isaac from Teotitlan del Valle

And, there was another good friend, flying shuttle loom weaver Alfredo Hernandez Orozco with his son Yaolt, who make extraordinary cotton cloth home goods and clothing. Their workshop is in El Tule.

Yaolt and his dad, Alfredo, accomplished fly shuttle loom weavers

There were other Oaxaca artisans whose work I know and respect: alebrijes makers, ceramic artists and sculptors, basket weavers, and some very fine clothing weavers from remote areas of the Oaxaca coast and Mixe regions. Many of these are included on our Oaxaca Discovery Tour coming up at the end of January 2020 (yes, a few spaces are available).

Fine, back-strap loomed cotton blusa, San Juan Cotzocon
Women who make red clay pottery, San Marcos Tlapazola
Zeny Fuentes and Family, San Martin Tilcajete
Hand-woven palm necklace by Monica Diaz Martinez

An added bonus of going to the Fair was participating in events hosted by Los Amigos del Arte Popular. This is a non-profit group that supports Mexican folk art. They are appreciators and collectors, and do a lot to underwrite this Feria and provide scholarships for artisans to travel here.

Sally, Chris, Mariann, Norma, Ellen

I also had a chance to connect with friends Mariann who moved to Ajijic from Philadelphia, friend Ellen who comes to Oaxaca every winter, her sister Sally, and locals Elizabeth and Greg who live in Chapala. I also bumped into David and Barbara from San Diego, too.

Meat lovers’ paradise, ribs at Gosha’s, Ajijic, Jalisco
Lake Chapala from the Fair grounds

Unlike the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe that covers the world, this Fair reunites those of us with Mexico-LOVE. While I’m most happy living in Oaxaca, coming to the shores of Lake Chapala is a refreshing change of pace and a great party all the way around. I had to come home to rest!

A collector’s niche
Otomi embroidered wall hanging adds drama to bedroom
Papier-maché Virgin from developmentally challenged Chapala school for women
(R) Michoacan potter Guadalupe Garcia Rios in traditional Purepecha dress

To the Villages with Shuko–Backroads Oaxaca

Shuko Clouse is here. She opened Mano del Sur recently, a beautiful online shop that combines her Japanese aesthetic — simplicity and quality — with Mexican handcraft excellence. Shuko came to Oaxaca to restock the shop.

Shopping with Shuko, our Oaxaca backroads adventure into craft villages

She takes her time. She curates each item. She meets the makers and engages with them. She holds an article in her hands and savors its creation. She kneels down to touch a wool rug whose life is created on the loom. She traces the pattern with her fingertips, asking about ancient design origin.

The women who make clay mural
Each handmade, hand-formed, imperfect, burnished, beautiful

It is a marvel to go shopping with Shuko. She chooses carefully. Selects one or two items that are the same. She is not a volume shopper. I learn from her. Take your time. Each moment with a handmade article is a blessing for the maker and eventually, the buyer.

Shuko with cochineal dyed cotton warp and ikat wool throw/shawl
Arnulfo, Jr. finishes his first rug. So proud. Vendido. Sold!

Don’t rush. When I was in Japan, I saw that a large room with one extraordinary vase containing one exquisite flower was enough. This is antithetical to my own collecting sensibilities. It is a struggle to keep my living environment spare, and I confess I am unsuccessful. But I aspire to this — one object, beautifully crafted, as focal point.

Perfect naturally-dyed beeswax candles suspend from rebar rods
Beeswax candlemaker Viviana Alavez, Grand Master of Oaxaca folk art

Meanwhile, Shuko and I travel the villages; to San Marcos Tlapazola to visit the women makers of red clay pottery; to Mitla to see the weaver of natural dyed wool and cotton; deep into a Mitla neighborhood to visit the antique dealer whose eclectic collection tempts all; to old adobe houses of Teotitlan del Valle where humble weavers work magic.

Spaces Open: Oaxaca Discovery Tour–Textiles and Folk Art 2020

Elaborate, handmade beeswax flowers decorate church candlesticks, made here
Shuko with Viviana, a joyful moment

As always, thank you for reading and following. Can we take you on the backroads? On the Ocotlan Highway? Through the Tlacolula Valley? On a Textile Study Tour adventure?

A collection of dolls on Epifanio’s altar in Mitla
Rare, 17th century Quiatoni necklace with blown glass, coral. Anyone want it?
I’ll buy it for you. $1,200 USD includes mailing.
Shuko with Macrina and family in San Marcos
Ernestina shows us rugs she just finished weaving
Perched on a dead tree branch, Virgin of Guadalupe vintage icon

Tribal Art and Georgia O’Keeffe: New Mexico Study Tour

Tuesday, September 1 – Wednesday, September 9, 2020 – 8 nights, 9 days

New Mexico was originally part of the Spanish land grant known as New Spain. It calls to me in a way that reminds me of Oaxaca: Vast vistas of mountains and desert punctuated by red and purple skies, stately organ-pipe cactus and gnarly mesquite, Rio Grande River oases lined with scrub oak, and unparalleled art and craft made by indigenous peoples.

Ubiquitious adobe bricks, New Mexico desert
Lapidary work by Kewa pueblo master

Colonized by the Spanish in 1598 and referred to as New Mexico by them after the Aztec Valley of Mexico, the territory was integrated into a new nation after 1821 Independence from Spain. Mexico was forced to cede its northern territories to the US in 1848 in a period of political vulnerability. Deeply rooted locals identify more with Spanish or indigenous ancestry.

Today, New Mexico has the largest percentage of Latino and Hispanic Americans in the USA. America’s First Peoples lived here for thousands of years before European occupation. Anglos, the trappers, merchants and adventurers, arrived much later. This sequence of settlement is important for showing respect and appreciation.

Sheri Brautigam, textile author and operator of Living Textiles of Mexico, and I join together again to bring you this program that starts in Santa Fe, the state capitol and heart of Colonial New Mexico.  Sheri lives in Santa Fe and I visit periodically. Our love of place is defined by the majestic natural world, exquisite art, textiles, jewelry and pottery created by Native American people, and a deep appreciation for cultural history.

Iconic skull, O’Keeffe house
Abiquiu, New Mexico landscape

On many levels, it seems only natural to add New Mexico to our travel repertoire. Here political borders give way to the shared cultural and aesthetic history of Mexico and the American Southwest.

We take you to Native American pueblos to meet favorite weavers and jewelry makers, and to galleries and public spaces where world-class examples are displayed.  We introduce you to collectors and purveyors of folk art and craft who will talk about quality, authenticity, craftsmanship and style. We go deep rather than wide to offer insight and perspective.

Georgia O’Keeffe treasure at the La Fonda Hotel

Any exploration of New Mexico must include a look into the life of artist Georgia O’Keeffe. Our study tour takes you to her summer residence at Ghost Ranch where we spend the night and enjoy a morning walking tour of her favorite painting sites. We visit her Abiquiu winter home where her minimalist style shaped future generations.

Kewa pueblo jewelry artist Mary L. Tafoya
Mezcal laced Smoky Rosa at the Secreto Lounge, Hotel San Francisco

We invite you to join us to explore and discover:

  • An O’Keeffe landscape of the White Place and the Pedernal
  • Westward migration and the lure of the Santa Fe Trail, Route 66
  • Ancient indigenous Native American Pueblos nestled along the Rio Grande River banks
  • Colonial Spanish and Mexican history, architecture and cultural influences
  • Sumptuous food spiked with rare New Mexico red Chimayo chile and green Hatch chile — try the Hatch flavored pozole or a green chile cheeseburger or buy a ristra to take home
  • Mezcal infused beverages that transcend Oaxaca origins
Inlay stone work, Thunderbirds: turquoise, mother-of-pearl, apple coral, gaspeite
Vintage tin mirror, La Fonda Hotel collection

Here is the Preliminary Itinerary: Arrive September 1 and depart September 9, including Labor Day Weekend.

Tues, 9//1: Arrive and check in to hotel, welcome cocktail reception (R)

Wed. 9/2:  Breakfast with art and cultural history talk, walking tour of Santa Fe galleries, the Governor’s Palace Portal and historic sites, welcome lunch.  Presentations by noted experts and collectors. Dinner OYO.  (B, L)

Finest heishi bead work, Santo Domingo Pueblo (Kewa)

Thurs. 9/3: After breakfast, depart for Rio Grande River Kewa/Santo Domingo pueblo to meet Native American craftspeople where we will have private demonstrations of stone inlay and metal smithing, and a home-style lunch. We visit award-winners who exhibit at prestigious galleries and participate in the International Folk Art Market. (B, L) Dinner OYO

Friday. 9/4: After breakfast, we will take a private La Fonda Hotel art history tour, with lunch at the historic Fred Harvey restaurant, followed by a visit to the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum (B, L) Dinner OYO

Vintage Navajo rug with churro sheep wool
Bumble bee painting at La Fonda Hotel

Sat, 9/5: After breakfast, we will return to the Kewa pueblo to attend the big Labor Day Weekend Artisan Fair, an all Native American traditional arts and craft event that includes artisans from throughout New Mexico. (B) Lunch and dinner OYO.

Sun. 9/6: After breakfast, depart for Ghost Ranch with a stop in Sanctuario de Chimayo a famous shrine of miracles and Hispanic faith. We will visit the Rio Grande style weavers of the Chimayo region and have lunch at Rancho de Chimayo, overnight at Ghost Ranch (B, L)

O’Keeffe wall, subject of numerous paintings
Rudy Coriz feather motif inlay stone work

Mon. 9/7: After breakfast, morning Art Walk at Ghost Ranch to see the locales where Georgia O’Keeffe painted. After lunch at the Inn at Abiquiu, we will tour O’Keeffe’s winter home in Abiquiu, then return to Santa Fe. (B, L) Dinner OYO.

Tues., 9/8: Breakfast and day on your own. Grand finale dinner. (D) Breakfast and lunch OYO.

Wed. 9/9: Depart

Painting, Native American festival dances
Colonial furniture, hand-carved wood

You may wish to arrive early or stay later to add a visit to Taos, Ojo Caliente Mineral Springs, or Santa Clara or San Ildefonso pottery villages.  So many places to visit, so much to see and do.

What Is Included

  • 8 nights lodging at a top-rated Santa Fe historic center property within walking distance to the Plaza
  • 6 breakfasts
  • 5 lunches
  • 1 dinner
  • 1 cocktail reception
  • a curated itinerary with introductions to some of the region’s finest artisans
  • museum and other entry fees, as specified in itinerary
  • private demonstrations, presentations and lectures
  • private coach and chauffeur to/from pueblos and O’Keeffe sites
  • outstanding and personal guide services with Norma Schafer and Sheri Brautigam
Inlay pin by Mary Tafoya
Exterior landscape, O’Keeffe in Abiquiu

The program does NOT include airfare, taxes, tips, travel insurance, liquor or alcoholic beverages, some meals, and optional local transportation that is not specified in the itinerary.

You can fly in/out of either Albuquerque (ABQ) or Santa Fe (SAF), New Mexico. Check Skyscanner.com for best schedules and fares.

We reserve the right to substitute instructors and alter the program as needed.

Cost • $3,845 double room with private bath (sleeps 2) • $4,435  single room with private bath (sleeps 1)

Important Note: All rooms at Ghost Ranch for one night on Sunday, September 6, are shared accommodations. 

Native American Feast Day Mask

Reservations and Cancellations.  A $750 non-refundable deposit is required to guarantee your spot. The balance is due in three equal payments – on January 22, April 22, July 22, 2020.  We accept payment using online e-commerce only.  If for any reason, Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC cancels the tour, a full-refund will be made.

We will send you an itemized invoice when you tell us you are ready to register. If you cancel on or before July 22, 2020, we will refund 50% of your deposit received to date. After July 22, 2020, there are no refunds.

If you register after January 22, you will owe $750 plus 1/3 of the balance due. If you register after April 22, you will owe $750 plus 2/3 of the balance due. If you register after July 22, you will owe 100% (if there are openings).

How to Register: Send an email to norma.schafer@icloud.com

Tell us if you want a shared/double room or a private/single room. We will send you an e-commerce invoice for $750 by email that is due on receipt.

Who Should Attend: Artists, makers, educators, life-long learners, writers, photographers, jewelry and textile lovers, historians and those wanting to learn more about Native American art, culture and history.   If you love off-the-beaten path adventure, the great outdoors, and the inspiration of the great Southwest as seen by Georgia O’Keeffe, this trip is for you.

To Register, Policies, Procedures & Cancellations–Please Read

Work in progress, Warren Nieto

Required–Travel Health/Accident Insurance: We require that you carry international accident/health insurance that includes $50,000+ of emergency medical evacuation insurance. Proof of insurance must be sent at least 45 days before departure.

In addition, we will send you by email a PDF of a witnessed waiver of responsibility, holding harmless Norma Schafer and Oaxaca Cultural Navigator LLC. We ask that you return this to us by email 45 days before departure. Unforeseen circumstances happen!

Reservations and Cancellations.  We accept online e-commerce payments only. We will send you an itemized invoice when you tell us you are ready to register. All documentation for plane reservations, required travel insurance, and personal health issues must be received 45 days before the program start or we reserve the right to cancel your registration without reimbursement.

Terrain, Walking and Group Courtesy:  We may walk a lot on some days.  — up to 10,000 steps. We recommend you bring a walking stick if you need something to lean on!

If you have mobility issues or health/breathing impediments, please consider that this may not be the study tour for you.

Warren Nieto with sacred corn pendant, inlay stones and sterling silver

Traveling with a small group has its advantages and also means that independent travelers will need to make accommodations to group needs and schedule. We include plenty of free time to go off on your own if you wish.

Old West hand-carved lamp base, La Fonda Hotel