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Color en México
Arts and Crafts of Mexico

Places and history of Mexican Lacquer

Church
This church in Olinalá, Mexico is a magnificent exhibition of local skills.

Also of interest
The making of Mexican lacquer
Arts and Crafts of Mexico
Color en México

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Contemporary mexican lacquer is today made in many regions of Mexico. Each region tends to have its own slightly different technique and style. Here is a selection of the places famous for their lacquer.

Olinalá, Guerrero - Engraved lacquer and painted lacquer
Pátzcuaro, Michoacán - Painted lacquer
Uruapan, Michoacán - Encrusted lacquer and embutida lacquer
Temalacacingo, Guerrero - Painted lacquer
Chiapa de Corzo, Chiapas - Painted lacquer

The lacquering technique was developed in pre-hispanic Mexico in direct response to the needs of the people of that time. Lacquered gourds, such as those on sale at worldexperience.com, were originally used to hold liquids, foods, seeds, and other necessities of pre-hispanic life. 

The use of and decoration of these gourds were described with wonder by Spanish conquistadors. Comparisons were made with chinese lacquer which is remarkably similar in many respects. Many pieces were returned to Spain to decorate the houses of the wealthy.

The earliest examples of lacquer in Mexico pre-date the Spanish conquest by several centuries. In fact the remains of many lacquered objects have been found were the only piece remaining was the lacquer shell - the organic interior having disintegrated with time! 

We are fortunate that, like many Mexican crafts, the practice and development of the lacquer technique still continues to the present day. Lacquer is now mainly applied for decorative purposes and so it is the art of the technique which continues to be developed.
Click here to read about the making of Mexican lacquer!

  
Cuba - Rotorua, New Zealand - Christ Church, Dublin - Monument Valley, Arizona - Monte Albán, Oaxaca, Mexico - Staffa, Scotland - Huamantla, Tlaxcala, Mexico - Costa Rica - Tule Tree, Oaxaca, Mexico - Fiesta, Mexico City - Making Lacquer, Olinalá, Mexico - Talavera Ceramics, Puebla, Mexico - Mata Ortiz Pottery, Mexico - Lebanon
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