Lacquered handcrafts from Olinalá

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Mother’s Day in México is celebrated on May 10th, and for this year, I wanted to give my mom a unique present.  I found beautiful lacquered boxes at the local handcraft stores, and I immediately knew that this would be the perfect present.  From the artist I found out that these boxes come from a small town Olinalá, located miles up in the Guerrero Mountains.

This remote town Olinalá is famous for its beautiful lacquered boxes, made from “Linaloe”, the traditional fragrant wood, which grows in the area.  The boxes are usually decorated with the animals of the region of Olinalá: deers, armadillos, rabbits, coyotes, ‘tlacuaches’, iguanas, doves, ‘zopilotes’, snakes, scorpions, lizards, etc.  Besides the boxes, the artisans also produce other beautiful handcrafts like fruit bowls, masks, jewelry boxes, folding screens, trunks, and more.

The artisans have been passing the techniques for lacquer production from generation to generation since pre-Hispanic times.  These artisans, who are predominately made up of indigenous locals, still speak ‘nahuatl’, the ancient language of Aztecs.

When you visit Capella Ixtapa, it won’t be necessary to go all the way to the remote location of Olinalá to get some of these famed lacquered boxes and other wood handcrafts.  You can find these and other beautiful and delicate handcrafts in the Zihuatanejo market.

I have now the perfect gift for my Mom, it is beautiful and I love supporting local producers.  On your next visit, our Personal Assistant will be glad to organize the market tour for you, so you can see and/or buy beautiful local handcrafts for your loved ones as well!  And for those of you feeling extra adventures our PAs can even plan a visit to this secluded village!

 

Artesanías en linaloe de Olinalá

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El 10 de Mayo celebramos el día de las Madres en México, y para este año, quería regalarle a mi madre algo singular. Encontré unas preciosas y coloridas cajas de madera en la tienda de artesanías, e inmediatamente supe que este sería el regalo perfecto. El artista que me las vendió me explicó que estas cajas vienen de un pequeño poblado en la sierra de Guerrero llamado Olinalá.

El remoto poblado de Olinalá es famoso por sus preciosas cajas laqueadas en colores, hechas de madera de Linaloe, la aromática madera tradicional que crece en el área. Las cajas usualmente están decoradas con los animales de la región de Olinalá: venados, armadillos, liebres, coyotes, tlacuaches, iguanas, palomas, zopilotes, serpientes, escorpiones, lagartijas, etc. Además de las cajas, los artesanos producen otras bellas artesanías como son tazones para frutas, máscaras, joyeros, biombos, baúles y muchos más artículos en madera.

Los artesanos han ido pasando el oficio y las técnicas de la madera laqueada de generación en generación desde tiempos pre hispánicos. Estos artesanos son predominantemente indígenas que aún habitan en la región y se comunican en ‘náhuatl’, la antigua lengua de los Aztecas.

Cuando visites Capella Ixtapa, no será necesario desplazarse hasta Olinalá para obtener artesanías en madera y algunas de estas famosas cajas de Linaloe. Las podrás encontrar en el mercado de Zihuatanejo así como otras hermosas artesanías.

Tengo ahora el regalo perfecto para mi Mamá, es hermoso y además apoya a los productores locales. En tu próxima visita, nuestro Personal Assistant estará más que feliz de organizarte un tour al mercado, para que puedas contemplar y/o comprar las hermosas artesanías locales ¡para ti o tus seres queridos! Y para aquellos que se sienten un poco más aventureros, nuestros P.A. le pueden incluso organizar ¡una visita a este remoto poblado!

A Visit To The Glass Factory

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Living in Cabo means I don’t just get the benefit of the beaches, but of our town as well.  I love exploring the different artists and artisans that make up our community.  One of my favorite places is The Glass Factory, which sells beautiful hand blown glassware.

The Glass Factory opened in 1990 and was for many years the only hand blown glass factory on the peninsula.  Visiting it over the years has piqued my curiosity about the art form.  I confronted owner Sebastian Romo, who explained a bit about the history and process of making the glassware.

Glass was first discovered around 2500 B.C., but it wasn’t until about 50 B.C. that people began to blow glass.  The first examples of glass blowing in North America were in Puebla, Mexico in 1535 by artisans who came from Europe during the Spanish reign.  The art form caught on and glass blowing is now considered one of the traditional Mexican arts and crafts forms.

 

Authentic hand blown glassware has a pontil or a small scar at the bottom.  This mark indicates that the piece is free-blown.  A pontil occurs when a glass blower, finished with shaping a particular piece, cuts the hot glass from the blowpipe.

The Glass Factory employs 30 artisans who can blow up to 500 unique pieces daily!  It is truly a sight to see!  Of course if you have the opportunity to stay with us, your Personal Assistant will be glad to organize a tour for you.