April 24, 2014

Our Story

This is our story about how we Mexican women have been through earthquakes and famine and revolutions and we have been conquerered over and over, however we have never lost our tradition and that have given us a sense of purpose in the face of daily necessity and our duty to our loved ones our parents and our children.  Our grandmothers gave to us an important tradition of handcraft jewelry making and we are very proud of every piece we make; all we need now is a caring collaborator.

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We Are Artesanas Campesinas

azteca baile folklorico taxco guerrero mexico

Taxco is at 5800 feet altitude; Tecalpulco 4600.

This is the southern drop off
of the great central altiplano,
the northern Guerrero escarpment.

We are indigenous native Mexican
country people, rainy seasonal farmers.
Most families plant corn, beans, and squash
in the wet months of summer.

In the dry months of December through May,
the fields are a dusty desert
parched with thorny bush vegetation.

The natives are adept rock masons
The builder surveys the rocks strewn on the ground,
he picks up the one he sees will fit,
packs it into the place where it will go
and proceeds to select another.

In mortarless construction, the rocks need to be expertly tied together
and balanced; all this, the village stone-worker does in single vision;
never does he pick up a stone, then put it down, look around for another.

Hernan Cortez, the Conqueror of Mexico, opened the first silver mine
in Taxco in the early 1500s. The mines have been in production, now,
for five hundred years. Today the mines are the number two employer
in Tecalpulco with 64 men working down there. The miners are paid
by the mining company, $40 to $50usdollars for six day week.

(this is an old document – the miners went out on strike six years ago

and they are still on strike – the longest miner strike the world history!)

The leading employer in Tecalpulco is the United States.
Today, according to the village Comisario,
more than 100 adults of the village
are up at the Northern neighbors’ working as wetback labor
mostly in Phoenix and Chicago, California, Florida, North Carolina

In the 1940s, Tecalpulco was a remote provincial village.
In the quiet hours of the morning,
the boys would stand near the mill
to watch the girls
when they were allowed out of the parents’ house
to grind corn or draw water.

Youth would make elaborate very fine signs to signal their intentions
to each other. With the infinite subtle beauty of youthful attraction,
love without words grew until a meeting could be managed.

Sometimes, a boy and a girl would elope
and no one knew that they even knew each other!

In the patios of the houses,
the people were making mirrors
cut out of tin sheet with metal shears.

The rustic artisans cut up thin tin into strips,
curled them and soldered these tin curls
on to the mirror frame surface as ornament.

And they made masks:
Shining, evocative, preColombian visages.
Sometimes the masks had eyes fashioned out of bone,
with a bit of polished clam shell inlayed as the pupil.

In the nineteen fifties the silver jewelry production of Taxco
expanded dramatically as a long-term result
of the intervention into Taxco
of a Tulane University architecture professor by name William Spratling
one more gringo who fell in love with the Mexican people
he stayed to established the first modern silver shop *Las Delicias*.

Today Spratling signed silver is highly collectible and reknowned
for the technical quality of execution and simple power of design.

This tradition has been recognized as among the highest quality
fine silverwork in the world, on account of its expressive vitality
and technical execution of innovative wood, stone inlay into silver.

In the 1950′s hundreds of families in Taxco supported themselves
by silversmithing. So the population of Taxco became the serendipidous
beneficiary of Spratling’s genius and willingness to give to others.

The general acceptance of the Spratling silver jewelry product
by the US and European market, also the burgeoning domestic market
of the growing tourist industry made Taxco into the ‘Silver City’;
a city of silversmiths, with generation upon generation of hammerers,
of polishers, arc saw cutters, solderers, casters, filers, and stonesetters.

Taxco, with its perfect climate and picturesque aspect
was in the fifties the scene of a Robert Mitchum film
and for a while was something of an art crowd hangout.

In the sixties, Tecalpulco’s tin mirrors and frames
sold through tourist stores in Taxco.
The Tecalpulco craftsmen were also making
a flexible fish ornament overlaid in abalone shell.

The larger fishes had a heavy duty mouth fashioned for bottleopener.
The fish were built on tin sheet salvaged from tin cans.
The artisan would work the shell material
on the edge of a carborundum wheel
mounted on a small bench motor
tied to a lard can filled with cement,
gluing on the abalone segments one by one
as she or he had shaped it,

Abalone shell had been a prized material since the Toltecs
in every Mesoamerican tradition of artifact. Spratling combined abalone shell
with rosewood and ebony in some of his great jewelry art.

In the sixties, the abalone shells were huge, and saturated with iridescent
blue green brilliance. The beautiful natural abalone overlaid on tin can sections
led to a fateful innovation Combining the town tradition of tinsmithing
with the abalone carving technique of the flexible fish ornament production
emerged: the Abalone Shell Belt Buckle for Western style 1 ½ inch leather belt.
The Tecalpulcan craftspeople produced about thirty or forty
per week per craftsperson
of these belt buckles, in their backyard workshops.

In the seventies came the Abalone Shell Bracelet,
with perfect delicate eight petal daisy mother of pearl flower
in a iridescent bluegreen background
of shaped and pieced together abalone.

A demand for the new Tecalpulco jewelry products built up,
as merchants sought source to replace sold product.
Taxco merchants, with access to retail and wholesale customers organized
orders for production by the villagers.
Buyers started flying into Mexico looking for the product.
Hundreds of families in Tecalpulco, Dolores, Taxco El Viejo,
Cerro Gordo, El Ejido Paintla, etc.
were supporting their needs by handcraft jewelry production.

In the eighties, Tecalpulco experienced a boom in demand
for its products and all the other villages in the area started making
alpaca abalone jewelry; also hundreds of shops in Taxco
turned to alpaca abalone shell jewelry production.

A vibrant wholesaler sector grew up in Taxco.
Some wholesaler families became quite wealthy on the strength
of the abalone shell jewelry boom that continued the entire decade.

Those humble, attractive shell mosaic inlays of Tecalpulco
gained worldwide acceptance and by the mid-1980′s
the alpaca abalone shell earring was handcrafted,
and the boom re-doubled, and it went on until it filled showcases and racks
in every last mall kiosk in New Jersey and Stockton, Vancouver
and Daytona Beach, Hawaii, South Africa, Chile, Germany, Japan

The beautiful shell mosaic handcraft of Tecalpulco
was everywhere in the world!

The nineteen-nineties: fashions changed
and the curtain rung down on the handcrafts of Tecalpulco.

The nineties didn’t want flowers or pretty things,
it wanted tattoos, virtual entertainment, and Nike
and the idea of handcrafted fashion jewelry disappeared from fashion

The tastes of more mature ladies who had ooh’ed and ahh’ed and had
collected abalone earrings transmuted into aromatherapy and crystals
and the magazine covers featured sleek white silver on their models.

At the same time, ferocious costume jewelry competition came in
from the Orient, taking over the traditional export and domestic markets
of the Mexican artisan. Every year the abalone jewelry was harder
to sell, and the buyer would pay less for it, than the year before.

Many local artisans gave up jewelrymaking,
still some don’t know how to do anything else;
a lot support their family on earnings from handwork;
however poorly paid, it is often
the only source of income for families.

Gradually the artisans were forced to abandon their homes
and the young and active ones have gone North as wetback labor.

Others, forced by the necessity of providing for their families,
have surrendered their miserable fate to the tombs of the mine.

The process of globalization of markets caused a grave crisis
in the countryside of Mexico, that has borne down terribly
all of this last decade. Colera re-emerged in the 1990’s
after having disappeared entirely in the 20th Century.

Dengue fever too, has made its debut;
these scourges are markers for poverty.

Caught up in a very difficult struggle for the physical survival
of oneself and one’s family, we, the women of Tecalpulco
still aim every day on this earth at a transcendental purpose.

The bow, with which that arrow is aimed,
in Mexico, that bow is called : faith

The Artesanas Campesinas initiative was born
in response to the extremely difficult and dangerous situation
the artisan communities of Tecalpulco discovered ourselves in
after the men had mostly disappeared
into the US illegal labor market scene
and the women and children for the most part
were left to manage the best that we were able.

As poor as we are, we are working towards a bigger dream:
that of a much better world for our sons and daughters;
a world of ever-refreshed hope, and of new possibilities.

The Artcamp rural womens artisans cooperative is a positive effort
to re-connect with successful traditions of handcraft jewelry production
in order to bring about a renaissance of cottage industry in our locality.

thank you! please share our mission with others

and using the social media buttons on this page

New World Women is an authentic social project and a revolutionary economic model.

This jewelry is expertly made by traditional artisans on a lapidary wheel in our homes.


Do let us know what you think about our work if we can use your words as a testimonial.

*

This is the button to press
if you want to know more about our stone mosaic jewelry

to have this very beautiful jewelry for your own,
or as a gift, or if you are a re-seller.

Product Design Development in Craftswoman Workshop

kimberley grimes

These are some pages
from our product development
notebooks from the 1990′s.

fair trade retailer order from the 1990′s

The artesanas campesinas shop
has been creating original jewelry
for many years and has been serving
many fair trade stores and distributors.

thank you! please share our mission with others

and using the social media buttons on this page

New World Women is an authentic social project and a revolutionary economic model.

This jewelry is expertly made by traditional artisans on a lapidary wheel in our homes.


Please do let us know what you think about our work if your words serve as a testimonial.

 

This is the button to press
if you want to know more about our stone mosaic jewelry

to have this very beautiful jewelry for your own,
or as a gift, or if you are a re-seller.

The Importance of Northamerican Handmade

The uniqueness of the gift is what makes a special smile come out

on the face of the person receiving the gift.  When you go out into

the malls and big box stores are selling the same old items. When handmade

articless are authentic, they have an original look, feel and designs to them, and

most vendors will customized your dream piece to get the look you desire. Every

handmade item is made differently and is an original design. Everyone of these crafters,

Artisans and Boutique Owners are small business owners, and we should support these

types of business. Remember our country was formed with small businesses not big box

companies. We need to unite and come back together to make a stronger North America,

conveying it back to its roots.  Handmade items have another key feature, and that

is quality. The products you purchase are being made by hands and not big machines

giving the uniqueness that no machine can bring to an item. The Crafters, Artisans and

Boutique Owners are putting their name on the products, giving them pride and ownership.

Any purchase you make with these authentic craftswomen stays here in North America

Lets get back to the basics and let’s all get behind NORTHAMERICAN HANDMADE ITEMS.

 

thank you! please share our mission with others

and using the social media buttons on this page

New World Women is an authentic social project and a revolutionary economic model.

This jewelry is expertly made by traditional artisans on a lapidary wheel in our homes.


Please let us know what you think, if we can use your words as a testimonial.

 

This is the button to press
if you want to know more about our stone mosaic jewelry

to have this very beautiful jewelry for your own,
or as a gift, or if you are a re-seller.

 

ARTISAN FAIR TRADE JEWELRY

ARTISAN FAIR TRADE JEWELRY

JEWELRY-MAKING AS A SOCIAL ENTERPRISE EFFORT

ARTISANBLACKANDWHITE

Jewelry that is made as part of a social-enterprise effort;
of real benefit to artisan producer group and community
is Fair Trade Jewelry. A required condition of Fair Trade
is that the artisans are successful in terms of providing
nutrition, health, education and homes to their families.

Especially, the artisan needs to be able to say to his or her children

“when you grow up you can be a silversmith or a craftswoman
having your own shop to support your family
with diligent and honorable labor.”

artsisanfairtrade

DIGNITY FOR THE CRAFTSWOMAN AND HER FAMILY

Fair Trade Jewelry is forged in the creativity

and industry of the crafts-producing artisans.

thank you! please share our mission with others

and using the social media buttons on this page

New World Women is an authentic social project and a revolutionary economic model.

This jewelry is expertly made by traditional artisans on a lapidary wheel in our homes.

If you have something good to say about us or our jewelry, we will love to hear from you!

This is the button to press
if you want to know more about our stone mosaic jewelry

to have this very beautiful jewelry for your own,
or as a gift, or if you are a re-seller.

logofairtrademaya

Classic American Southwest Native Stone Mosaic Jewelry

zuni-mix-stone-mosaic-inlay-bracelet

Handmade stone mosaic native American Zuni made bracelet with natural semi-precious stone inlay,
a vibrant piece with traditional rope work silver framing. Inlaid semi-precious stones…

Buy directly with them
cost: £174.95 pounds

 Go to page click here

 

21129162

Stone mosaic inlay earrings of shell, lapis, spiny oyster and jet over shell by Charlene Reano (San Felipe)

Buy directly with them
cost: $99.00USDollars

Go to page click here

 

IMG_6119

Priscilla and Harvey are known for their traditional Santo Domingo jewelry and this pendant is no exception.
Cut and polished stones from abalone, pipestone, turquoise, serpentine and shell are set in a mosaic style…

Buy directly with them
Cost: $100.00USdollars

Go to page click here 

turquoise-jewelry-tp1391   turquoise-jewelry-tp1385

Designed by Navajo Artist Calvin Begay. Signed by the artist.

Buy directly with them
Cost: $249.00USDollars 

Go to page click here 

$T2eC16RHJF0E9nmFSH7UBRNtTDyjDQ~~60_12

Buy directly with them

Cost: $1,829.00 USDollars

Go to page click here

 

$(KGrHqNHJC0E+bO0GG8hBQctWUr)fg~~60_57

Buy directly with them
Cost: $393.00 USDollars

Go to page click here

 

21130801

Sterling silver pendant set with mosaic inlay of shell, turquoise and lapis by Charlene Reano (San Felipe)

Buy directly with them
cost: $530.00

Go to page click here

We are not collecting any commission; we are artisans ourselves.

We only wanted to show to you other examples of lapidary mosaic.
Classic American Southwest Native Stone Mosaic Jewelry

 Here you see the kind of quality handcrafted stone mosaic jewelry

that our cousins in Arizona and New mexico make.  After all, our grandmothers

passed through there a long time ago, and that is how we know this work ourselves.

 Classic American Southwest Native Stone Mosaic Jewelry

We are native indians from Guerrero in Mexico
we have many years of experience on the making of this stone mosaic jewelry
we owe these qualities to our fellows Indians the  Navajo
they were the instructors of our ancestors
as our ancestors had the opportunity to stepped on the land of the Navajo.

As Mexican women we are Indian,
to be Mexican is to be at least partly Indian;
that is a native characteristic of the population of our country,
especially in the back country villages we are from.
Our ancestors come directly from the Aztec tribes ruling this lands
when the Spaniards came into our country.
They were sent at the time specifically to guard and stay in this land.

28_nov_06 154

native dancers guerrero

if you have something good to say about us our our jewelry please write us.

thank you! please share our mission with others

and using the social media buttons on this page

New World Women is an authentic social project and a revolutionary economic model.

This jewelry is expertly made by traditional artisans on a lapidary wheel in our homes.

*

This is the button to press
if you want to know more about our stone mosaic jewelry

to have this very beautiful jewelry for your own,
or as a gift, or if you are a re-seller.

Fair Trade Federation (U:S:A:) Testimonial Letter

danzantes

This is a testimonial letter

written to Artesanas Campesinas

by the Fair Trade Federation

of the United States of America

FTF LOGO

“The artisan rural women of Tecalpulco Mexico
are suppliers to a few fair trade retail stores
of exquisite handcrafted abalone shell figurines
and inlaid letter-openers and darling animal pins.

These talented women make a style of stone-inlaid pendant
with a large bandola inlayed with turquoise and abalone
mounted with a variety of stones, and natural materials.

They also produce an extraordinary .925 silver jewelry,
the famous Taxco silver jewelry – known the world around.
bezel-set in coral, turquoise, obsidian, and mother-of-pearl.

However, these women are village craftswomen;
they really do NOT have the language capability
or the administrative offices they would need
to successfully sell directly to retail stores.

Therefore, at this time, these artisans are seeking some Fair Trade collaborators
who would serve as their contacts with the greater market, as master-distributors.”

(end of Fair Trade Federation letter)

NWW Artisan Videos

And a world-class quality jewelry product is NOT all the women have to offer.
Artisan Music Videos to playing in the background at stores, fairs, or festivals.

Beyond the beautiful quality jewelry product, and beyond their artisan music videos,
the women are bringing up the deep and ancient wisdom of their Tlahuican ancestors.
In this time of disillusion and revolutionary change, the Mexican woman stands forth;
all this time, maybe God held her virtue in reserve, to release just at this critical moment?

Bone Circle Earrings Luz

…Whatever it is, these are expert and experienced craftswomen, in our native tradition.

TO COLLABORATE WITH, AND PROMOTE THE NEW WORLD WOMEN

USE THE SOCIAL NETWORK SITE BUTTONS AT BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE

thank you! please share our mission with others

and using the social media buttons on this page

New World Women is an authentic social project and a revolutionary economic model.

This jewelry is expertly made by traditional artisans on a lapidary wheel in our homes.


Do let us know what you think about our work

*

This is the button to press
if you want to know more about our stone mosaic jewelry

to have this very beautiful jewelry for your own,
or as a gift, or if you are a re-seller.

Our craftswomens’ cooperative new jewelry creation “Stone Mosaic Jewelry”


Our rural womens artisans cooperative in México

is proud to bring you
“Stone Mosaic Jewelry”

GO TO >>> SHOPPING CART; PRICES; CATALOG <<< CLICK HERE


The Mexican Women and the USA Migration of their Men

Over the years, many local have left their home villages, migrating to the USA to work illegally. Often, these men make other families over there, and consequently there are abandoned women and families all across the Mexican countryside.  The parents and grandparents of these women gave to these women, an important tradition of handcraft jewelry, so they turned their attention to traditional jewelry making work, to support themselves and their children.

Accomplished Handcrafted Artisan Jewelry

Beautiful stone mosaic jewelry

Colorful Jewelry Handmade

by Artisan Women in Rural Mexico

FINE SILVER PEWTER ETHICAL HANDCRAFTED JEWELRY
Nahua Flower Heart Pendants With Fancy Link Chain

stone mosaic hair barrette

Beautiful New Stone Mosaic Jewelry
ARTISAN-OWNED FAIR TRADE JEWELRY