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People Made These Things

Peggy Stein artesania crafts folk art handmade Mexican

People Made These Things

Should we know the name of the maker of a piece of art, be it a painting or a clay pot?  We strive to tell the story behind the artesania we buy and sell, to respect and honor the hardworking craftspeople who make it. But does it make a difference to you to see the artist's face or learn her story, and does that knowledge or artist's signature in fact make the work more valuable? 

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The Art of Embroidered Stories

Peggy Stein artesania embroidery Mexican Patzcuaro textiles

The Art of Embroidered Stories

Near Lake Patzcuaro in Michoacán, indigenous women embroider colorful pictures that can be framed or made into decorative pillows and clothing. The themes of these embroidered “stories” originally came from ancient mythology of the Tarascan or Purepecha Indians, drawn from seals found in Tzintzuntzan. Gradually many women  there began depicting traditional village dances such as the Dance of the Viejitos and festivals such as Dia de los Muertos. The artisans also embroider scenes of women cooking, men fishing, and other scenes of daily life in a Purepecha village. Teofila Servin Barriga is one of the most well-known of the Santa...

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Como se dice? (How do you say...?)

Peggy Stein artesania crafts folk art Mexican

Como se dice? (How do you say...?)

People often ask what we sell. I will answer “crafts” and sometimes "folk art"-- if I'm talking to people who don't understand Spanish. There just isn’t a good translation for the word artesania. Sometimes Spanish speaking experts in the field call it Arte Popular, but these days that isn't used much. The problem with both the Spanish term artesania and the English term "crafts" is that people have different ideas of what that is. We do not sell crochet items or cute DIY things made with supplies from hobby and craft stores. We don't sell piñatas either. Most of the items we...

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Crazy for Mexican Crafts?

Peggy Stein artesania crafts Mexican textiles

Crazy for Mexican Crafts?

After twelve years of selling artesania to American customers, I cannot tell you what kind of person will be a Mexican artesania addict. Maybe you're one! A lot of my merchandise is housewares and decorative items, but we also carry woven rebozos and embroidered blouses, which some women are absolutely crazy for. Not everyone feels comfortable wearing an "ethnic" piece of wearable folk art, but there are some women, and again I can't predict who they will be, who embrace the style enthusiastically. These customers usually come back for more because the blouses make them happy. I believe that's what art is...

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No more art without the artist

Peggy Stein

No more art without the artist

...when something is handmade i.e. made by hands, HUMAN hands, then those hands belong to someone. Who is that person, or at least, where do they live?

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