Posts Tagged ‘Mexico


A Soundtrack of Mexico City

As we have been going about our shopping and exploring in Mexico City these past few days, we have been carried along by the sounds of this place.  At San Angel artisan market, we were met with the playfully instructive demonstrations of the toy violins by Guillermo Figueroa as he chose the best ones for us to buy.  And was that a cat screeching in the wriggling black bag  the gentleman was holding as we were carefully selecting the Lorenzo paintings?  Our horror turned to annoyance when the cat screech turned to a parrot caw; he had a noise maker in his mouth.  Those sounds followed us through the day as did the drone of “botaneros, botaneros, botaneros” by strolling women relentlessly hawking decorative wooden cocktail picks.  The unheard sound of salsa music entertained as we watched the dance class through the large plate glass window of a second story building while we wiltedly waited for our taxi at the end of the shopping day.

The remaining  days in Mexico City  have been punctuated by fireworks’ whirrs and pops left over from the bicentennial celebration of the Independencia, and soothed with the sounds of classical guitar at a corner cafe as well as the smooth tenor notes of a strolling singer in an antique gallery.  And our nights’ sleep have been jolted by brake squeals, drunken conversation, and bad rock bands from the bar across the street.  But we were lulled back to sleep with quiet memories of Jorge Marin’s empty angel wings filled by a mother and child on a boulevard near Chapultepec Park

Jorge Marin's sculpture "Alas de la Ciudad", 2010



Who needs a tiger reading Blake?

Readers by Sergio Santos and Calixto Santiago

This is National Library Week, and have we got a library for you!

The green cabinet near the counter at Mingei is full of whimsical carvings of cows, mermaids, goats and dogs and other studious creatures reading.    All of these readers are from the village of La Union in the state of Oaxaca in southern Mexico, a beautiful agricultural spot in the mountains which had no library until two summers ago.  That problem has now been remedied, thanks to the tremendous generosity of our customers and of fabulous and big-hearted local performers Carmen  Deedy and John McCutcheon who created a wonderful benefit performance for us at the Georgia Center for the Book.    To continue to support the village and their library, we sell the reading figures at Mingei and send 20% of the sales to the library.  To read more about this project, click the link on your right (under About Mingei World Arts)!

While the green cabinet is full– that’s all there is!  We have worked our way through the spares tucked away in the back and are down to what we have on display.   It is time to get those carvers working again so  we can get plenty more in time for the Decatur Book Festival on Labor Day weekend!

Now here’s where it gets fun.  Is there is special someone in your life who really needs a snail reading Mastering the Art of French Cooking? or a red dog reading Clifford?  Because of our special relationship with the carvers, we are able to make special requests.  We would love to help you plan a very special gift, choosing the price range and carver for just the piece you want.  Since we are working with artists, sometimes the final product differs from the vision; sometimes it is better!  Come on in to talk to us about your ideas!  The figures begin at $35 for the beautifully detailed little pieces by Maximino Santiago and go up from there.  Most are $55-$60.  A fine piece by well-known carver Gabino Reyes could be $250-$300.  We work regularly with 11 carvers in the village, so there is quite a variety of styles– something for everyone.  Depending on your request, we may ask for a deposit.

We will be sending our wish list to Mexico early in May, so please make your requests by May 1.

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