Tag Archives: silver jewelry

New Oaxaca Workshops in the Works

Behind the scenes, we’re busy!  I’ve talked with writers, artists, and designers about new workshops to offer in Oaxaca in 2012.  I’m happy to say we are in the final planning stages for the following programs:

  • Making handmade books and journals with Lisa Gilbert.  We’ll go to the paper studio in San Agustin Etla to see the process and buy our journal paper, then learn a variety of bookbinding stitches to put together a travel journal.  Coming Summer 2012.
  • Silver jewelry making with Brigitte Huet and Ivan Campant of Kand-Art.  You will learn how to carve beeswax and use the sling to make a sterling silver jewelry pendant using the ancient pre-Columbian lost wax technique.  We’ll have one, two and three-day workshops starting in February 2012.
  • Travel writing workshop will be held in March 2012 for about one week.  We’ll be based in both Oaxaca city and Teotitlan del Valle. You’ll learn what it takes to write a compelling travel article and get it published.  With Carolyn Patten of Portland, Oregon and San Miguel de Allende.
Interested?  Contact me and get on the waiting list!
Plus, NEW DATES for Oaxaca Women’s Creative Writing and Yoga Retreat: Lifting Your Creative Voice.  We have moved the workshop to March 2-9, 2012.  A perfect time to get away from winter be in Oaxaca with Robin Greene, MFA and Beth Miller, yoga instructor.

Oaxaca Artisans Fair at La Casa de las Bugambilias, July 16, 2011

Ten artists representing various mediums will show and sell their work at La Casa de las Bugambilias, Calle Reforma #402, Centro Historico Oaxaca, on Saturday, July 16, 2011.  The fair will take place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. in the courtyard of the lovely bed and breakfast inn that is just around the corner from the famed Santo Domingo Church.  If you are in Oaxaca you won’t want to miss it!

Eagle Pendant, 925 Sterling Silver by Kanda/Brigitte and Ivan

Among those invited are silversmith and jeweler Brigitte Huet and her husband Ivan Descle.  They create deeply carved designs derived from ancient Zapotec, Aztec and Mayan symbols using the lost wax technique and then cast the silver using the traditional sling method.  The handwork is time-consuming and extraordinary.  See their collection at kand-art.com (We also represent Brigitte and Ivan in the U.S. and have some of their pieces for sale for immediately purchase.  See Gallery-Shop for more details.)

In addition, other crafts people will show their alebrijes (carved copal wood and painted figures), woven rugs, handmade shirts and dresses, and barro negro (black pottery).

Silvia Cornelio Sanchez Blusas from San Antonino

Owl by Jacobo Angeles







Maria Lopez Huipiles del Istmo

More than a sale, this is an opportunity to meet the artists, talk with them about the process of creation, and get to know them on a more personal basis.

Enjoy refreshments:  coffee, atole and memelitas during the morning, and in the afternoon, local snacks and aguas de sabor. Some of the artists will be preparing Oaxaca food specialties to share, too.

Recycled Art by Boris

Oaxaca Silver Jewelry Designer to Show in North Carolina

This week, silversmith and designer Brigitte Huet is coming to visit and I’m really excited!  Brigitte’s work is extraordinary.  She uses the lost wax technique to create deeply carved, high-relief silver jewelry that is derived from pre-Hispanic — Aztec, Mayan and Zapotec — symbols.  Her work reminds me of sculpture.  See the show schedule below.

Sterling Silver Bracelet by Brigitte Huet

  • Thursday, April 28, 5-8 p.m., show at the home of Erica Rothman, Chapel Hill.  Email me for directions: oaxacaculture@me.com
  • Friday, April 29, 5-8 p.m., show at Davenport & Winkleperry Gallery, 18 Salisbury St., downtown Pittsboro.

Brigitte asked if we would host her in North Carolina because tourism has dropped off in Oaxaca related to fear of drug violence (There is no indication of this that I can see in Oaxaca.  Many of you who know Mexico understand that the drug wars are localized at the border states.)  Artists and artisans in the state that depends heavily on visitors for their livelihoods are suffering.

When I explained this to friends, they stepped up to co-host Brigitte’s visit.  Co-hosts at Erica’s house are Hollie Taylor Novak, Helen Snow, and Helen Spielman, all of Chapel Hill.  Co-hosts in Pittsboro are Cindy Edwards, Helen Mikul, Julia Kennedy, and Molly Matlock.

If you live in the area, please come!

Upcoming Oaxaca Cultural Navigator Events in 2011 (Stay Tuned for More!)

Please print - post - circulate for friends and colleagues. Thanks!

Zapotec and Aztec Symbology Translated to Extraordinary Silver Jewelry

Brigitte's Silver Bracelets

Amazing.  Astounding. Alluring. Captivating.  What else can describe the incredible silver adornments fashioned by French designer Brigitte under her label Kanda Designs?   Brigitte is known to just about every Gringa traveler to Oaxaca.  I have often seen American women on the return flight to Houston proudly wearing an acquisition or two — a great way to remind them of a memorable Oaxaca visit.  Afterall, isn’t shopping for jewelry a cultural experience, too?

Creative hands

By appointment, Brigitte will meet you at a predetermined location — usually a cafe or restaurant — in the Central Historic District near Santo Domingo Church.  It is a ritual reunion for many who return regularly to Oaxaca.  On this last trip, we meet at a comfortable cafe and order our lattes.  Brigitte and her husband live in San Augustin Etla, a thirty minute drive from the city.  Scheduling an appointment is easy, though, since she does business by cell phone and wheels.  We pull up chairs  and settle in.  Brigitte gently unrolls her black velvet jewelry cases.  The polished and deeply carved silver against the black is stunning.  We might even be too preoccupied to sip the delicious coffee that sits steaming next to us.

Rings in every size to fit every finger

Brigitte talks about the various designs that she employs.  The wax carved molds are containers for the molten silver.  The finished product is substantial, impressive and comfortable.  Some pieces represent traditional gods or animals, others are symbols for rain, earth, lightening, the four elements, images from the ancient codices.  To spend an hour with Brigitte (for that is what it takes to discern the design nuances) is to learn a bit of Zapotec or Aztec history.

Her work is very different from the traditional and delicate filigree silver jewelry that many indigenous Oaxacan women wear. And, her prices are fair and reasonable for the high quality pieces.  Rings and earrings start at approximately $80 USD, and bracelets, amulets, and neck pieces are somewhat-to-considerably higher. It is definitely a treat to examine the fine detail of the carved pieces, whether you decide to take a piece home or not.  To locate Brigitte you can email her at kandamex@yahoo.com

Brigitte in sunlight