Tuesday, January 25, 2011

If you have to make up silver jewerly, try Taxco

For years I have been dreaming and trying to get ancient goddesses I have collected from historical research made into pendants. I dropped the images off in Bali, and in Varanassi, to no avail. But in just one week, I left withover 60 pendants and a better understanding of the business, with all intents to go back. Plus I have on-going relations with suppliers, and an invitation to study with one of the talleres (workshops) to learn the process myself. Every day I string another goddess along a string of gorgeous glass, stone and wooden beads. So, try Taxco.

Like I said, it took only one week. I arrived on Monday at 2 pm thinking I would give myself a day to relax after getting off the DF bus. But once I had a room, I was out hiking the cobblestone streets in search of a laundry. On the way back, I popped my head into a little store in the side of a woman's garage and asked if she knew where I could have some designs made up. She pointed across the street to Jaimes.

I carefully crossed the slanting cobblestone street. After all, at the laundry a woman had fallen and hurt herself. I did not want to be traveling through some foreign country on crutches again!

Across from the store were three or four steps and I climbed and entered. I gave the man who came to the counter (about 35, has been working in the trade since he was 7) a copy of a picture of a friend of mine Athena wearing a t-shirt she had bought from me at Fishing Creek Reunion in October.

The image was my rendition of an image of an ancient Israeli goddess from the Tanach period, about which I had learned at a workshop a Starwood last summer (2010). The presenter had distributed a xerox from an archaelogical journal. Apparently, her existence questions the monotheistic roots of Judaism. She holds the world in her arms, so maybe she is the original creator, the mother of the world. A la the Virgin of Guadalupe here.

By the next day I had a sample. The young man had xeroxed the image, reduced the picture to the size I wanted, glued her on a block of silver, and carved her face, body and details out laboriously with a series of hand and mechanical tools. The next day I ordered ten. By Thursday I had all of these, each different, as he altered them through conversations--no, she needs toes; no, this is a crown and this hair; no, no eye on what she is holding because she holds the world not a child; she is in a coffin so the edge needs to be straight; and that circle? it represents a vagina and has to be higher...and wonderful conversations and experiences. We discussed what these images meant, how they related to the ancient goddesses in Mexico, the relationship between the Egyptians and the Maya...how long the maestros had been studying, and many other images. The son of the founder of the shop tried his hand at one, as did the master craftsman in his seventies who had taught the younger man his trade and art.

Here are a few more. Below you will see the mermaids (sirenitas) which are from an ancient coin discovered in India. The Buffalo Woman (mujer y buffalo) is a woman celebrating herself by jumping up and down on the back of a buffalo, a fertility symbol as well. Also an ancient coin from India, according to my research.

I plan to have a long term working relationship with Jaimes. Each of these pendants can be purchased. You can pay through the paypal make a donation page on the journal (femspec.org) which supports our operations. Thanks so much.

Hebrew Goddess--$130
Mujer y buffalo--$150

You can also market these on commission for us, and if you like, send me images you would like to have reproduced. I can work them up for you.


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