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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The Magic Of Patzcuaro (Part Two)

Patzcuaro is a beautiful and magical town, noted for it's traditional adobe and wood architecture, red tiled rooftops and cobblestone streets. It is also home and host to a vibrant artist community, where folk art is still made by hand, using techniques that date back to Pre-Hispanic times. Patzcuaro's "stand out" art form and labor of love is Engraved Lacquer Painting. Lacquer painting is a detailed and brightly colored art form . While visiting an artist workshop, we learned about the process and techniques used to create such art. They start with a hand carved wooden object. The chosen object first receives a 2 part black lacquer application. Once dried, the artist carefully etches a design into the black lacquer, using a thorn from a local tree, that is inserted into the end of a feather for better mobility. This feather tool also serves as a duster for the debris of loosened lacquer. Once the design is completed, a variety of naturally made colored pastes are applied into the etched crevices, finger rubbed into place, dried and repeated over and over until completed. Some pieces are enhanced with a gold leafing to give a dimensional result. Depending on the size and detail, a single piece can take several months to complete. Each piece is unique, for no two pieces are ever alike.

Engraved Lacquer Painted Wood Plate

El Senor (Left!) Takes A Break With A Local Vendor

Life Art Among Textiles For Sale

During our stay in Patzcuaro, we took a day trip to Santa Clara Del Cobre also known as The Copper City. Santa Clara is a "must see" city, that will have you saying, "I must return with a trailer"! The coppersmiths are artistic metalworkers with creations that raise the bar far above the commonly known copper pots and pans. The designs, colors and hammered textures left me in awe. If you can imagine it, they can make it. Some of my favorite pieces were kitchen and bathroom sinks, dinning tables and chairs, kitchen cabinet doors, sideboards, entertainment units, and wall tiles. Unfortunately I am unable to share photos of these pieces, no photography is allowed in the retail stores.

Coppersmith Workshop
(Left, Jewelry Display Board)

Just between us, La Senora may need more than a trailer on a return trip..........

La Senora

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