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Thanks for stopping in... We’re a small Mexican folk art store located in Minneapolis, Minnesota. We personally choose ALL of our hand made pieces from talented artisans all over the great country of Mexico.

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Zinnia Blog

02.24
2015

Coconut Masks

Posted by Anne Damon in Masks, recent   /   2 COMMENTS

Coconut Masks from Mexico

These whimsical masks are handmade in Guerrero, Mexico from coconuts! Yes, the coconut is cut in half, hollowed out, various organic materials like seed pods, cones, and fibers are attached. Then the whole thing is painted in bright glossy colors. How about one of these joyful faces for your wall?

I've been collecting these for a long time and our bathroom has several grouped together in a smiling chorus.

We have changing collection of coco masks--click here for our current availability.

Enjoy!

02.17
2015

Mexican Tin Folk Art

Posted by Anne Damon in Guanajuato, Oaxaca, recent, Tin   /   LEAVE A COMMENT
One of the least known, most versatile, and most beautiful expressions of Mexican folk art is hojalata (tin art work), also known in some parts of Mexico as, lamina  or lata. Since the 1500's, this humble metal has been made more pleasing by being shaped, stamped, punched, painted and cut into a wide variety of decorative and functional artwork.

One reason it's popular as a material for folk art is that it is very light, it's strong and it's inexpensive. Along with being low cost, it's easily bent and crimped to form intricate shapes. It's a material that has been used for many inexpensive domestic products, like mousetraps or tin cups, and for that reason, can easily be overshadowed  or ignored when faced with similar pieces made of gold or silver. BUT it's shiny surface as an appearance similar to silver, which likely contributed to its appeal for making candlesticks, plates, pitchers, buckets, ladles, etc, despite its tendency to rust.   read more
01.29
2015

Stuff You Missed in History Class: Frida Kahlo

Posted by Anne Damon in Frida Kahlo, recent   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

I just listened to these very informative podcasts about Mexico's most famous artist, Frida Kahlo. What a great way to learn about her tumultuous and influential life....listen here or you can download the podcasts from "Stuff You Missed in History Class."

 

Part 1 Frida Kahlo, Stuff You Missed in History Class
Part 2 Frida Kahlo, Stuff You Missed in History Class

 

01.22
2015

What's a Great Mexican Folk Art Valentine's Day Gift?

Ok, if you're not thinking of proposing to someone and you're tired of giving the same box of chocolates, the same bouquet of red roses or going out to eat at your favorite restaurant, what could Cupid give this year to reflect love, caring, friendship, affection or just plain old, "I like you."  I've put together a few ideas of gifts which are not the same old, same old, AND tell someone you care about them.

It always helps when giving a gift, to know something about the person and what they like or dislike. That's why we have a WISHLIST in the Mpls shop. But the best gift is one that you choose because you know that person and you think they will like it based on that knowledge...here are a few ideas.

Click through to see the piece in the online shop--if you get the message, "page not found" that means it's been sold.

TRADITIONAL VALENTINE'S GIFTS
Jewelry is a pretty traditional for Valentine's Day but these earrings are different from the usual thing because they are handmade of sterling silver in the heartland (get it?) of Mexico. If you'd like to see ALL of the earrings we currently have available, go here.

Mexican Silver Jewelry

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01.04
2015

Looking Back at Zinnia Folk Arts in 2014

Posted by Anne Damon in recent, Zinnia Folk Arts News   /   3 COMMENTS

I traveled in many parts of Mexico during 2014, saw lots of artisans, met lots of wonderful people, including some very cute kids, and took lots of photos, so I thought you might be interested in some of my days...

Zinnia Folk Arts Year in Review

This is Chiapas in early February. I love the hand made textiles of Chiapas and every time I go, I find more women's cooperatives. This time I visited six cooperatives and found so many skilled artisans, many weaving at their back strap looms. It's a bit of hike to get there from Mexico City or Oaxaca but it's so worth it. The folk art is excellent, the food delicious and the atmosphere clean, colonial and European-esque.

Zinnia Folk Arts Year in Review

Everywhere I go in Mexico I visit artisans in their homes, their studios, their market puestos, or in their creative environments. The above photos are just a few of the hundreds of skilled Mexican artesanos that I have been privileged to meet. They are hard-working people, with joyful outlooks on life and so appreciative of others loving and purchasing their work. I revisit some people almost every time I go to Mexico and others, once a year or every couple years, and I am always greeted warmly and with an offer of a cafecito or a shot of tequila. Zinnia Folk Arts exists because of them and I am very grateful.

The homes and studios of most Mexican folk artists are very modest, often on unpaved roads, commonly living in dirt floor homes and some times creating folk art as a side job, in addition to farming or something else. When I am searching for a particular artist there can be lots of misses in terms of finding the exact address, because so many people in rural Mexico live on a named street but without a house number, for example, many artisans I visit are on Calle Juarez s/n or "sin nombre" (without a number) so it's not uncommon to knock on lots of doors and ask neighbors for the location of the particular artisano I'd like to visit. Finding people is one of the fun and unique challenges of the job!

Zinnia Folk Arts Year in Review

Here are just a few of the many things I've found over the last year that reflect the joy I see every day when I'm in Mexico. I'm frequently asked if I'm afraid to travel in Mexico. And my answer is, No. I am not Mexican and I understand that my answer might be different if I were. And I also always make the point that I'm careful and I don't do stupid things (wittingly anyway--I did accidentally miss a flight on my last trip).

The Mexico I know is the warm and generous people, the incredibly efficient bus system, the clean and safe but inexpensive hotels and their staff, the smiles of welcome when artisans see me coming and know I will be buying, the simple, delicious and cheap food, and so many other positive things. I have never had any run-ins with the police (except when the Federales helped my friend recover her purse which she left in a taxi in Mexico City--yes, she got it back!).

Mexico is a big country and there are good people and bad people there, just like in every other country in the world. I choose to not be afraid of one of the most interesting places in the world!

Zinnia Folk Arts Year in Review

You may know that I've been in the shop at 826 West 50th for almost three years! The space changes as the folk art changes so here are a few shots of some of the colorful merchandise we had during 2014. That fabulous bike in the second photo is not mine but belongs to a woman who decorates it every year (those are fake flowers) and rides around the neighborhood spreading smiles. Both of the Otomi bedspreads in these photos are gone, most of the tin bird candleholders are gone and all of the ceramics are gone but there's new folk art in the shop now, so stop in!

Zinnia Folk Arts Year in Review

2014 was the year I hired two part-time helpers to cover for me while I'm in Mexico and to work on Sundays. I was so lucky to find Leslie and Paulette. They are dedicated, warm, helpful, thoughtful people who have almost as much love for Zinnia Folk Arts as I do. They have both been great assets to the shop and positive, enjoyable people to be around. So thank you to them!

Other people--Roy, Connie, Marla, Jean--have been there for me since the beginning and I know will always be there.

We had several events in the shop this year and here are a few photos of one of the most popular ones--making Frida Kahlo headbands and sugar skull face painting. And how about those good looking smiles?

So, thank you all for your interest and support. Thank you for permitting me to follow my bliss.

12.03
2014

Miniature Mexican Christmas Nativity Scenes

Posted by Anne Damon in Christmas   /   LEAVE A COMMENT
Some of the tiniest Mexican Christmas creche scenes are made in Puebla and Oaxaca. These little figures are 1/2" or less tall! The figures are clay and are hand formed, then painted. Some of the creatures and faces can be quite amusing. Here are a few that we currently have in stock...Click on the photo to take you to the website!

Mexican Christmas Decoration

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11.21
2014

Mexican Christmas Decorations

Posted by Anne Damon in Christmas, Tin   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

It's coming sooner than you think! We're a week away from Thanksgiving and we're putting out the Christmas decorations in the Minneapolis shop. For the up to date availability you can click HERE and it will take you to the online shop. There are many more varieties in the Minneapolis store so if you're looking for something special, let us know.

These are beautiful cut and hammered tin lumenaria or farolitos. Open up the cut flower designs even more, put a votive candle inside (or a a LED candle) and let it do its job. They are really pretty and come in three sizes.

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11.16
2014

A Shiny, Tin Feliz Navidad, Updated 11/16/14

Posted by Anne Damon in Christmas, Tin   /   LEAVE A COMMENT
Mexican Folk Art Tin Wall Ornament, Christmas

 

Tin artisans can be found in several regions of Mexico, working in different styles and different types of objects. This beautiful painted tin wall hanging comes from Oaxaca as do the common painted tin ornaments that add so much color and shine to the Christmas tree! This is a post I wrote in 2011 but I've updated the links back to the online shop because we have all three of these pieces in stock again, November 2014. I love shiny tin for Christmas!

Mexican folk art tin lumenaria

This lovely luminaria also comes from Oaxaca.

http://zinniafolkarts.com/collections/mexican-christmas-decorations/products/painted-tin-ornaments

Have a shiny Christmas!

11.06
2014

Day of the Dead Events at Zinnia Folk Arts, 2014

Posted by Anne Damon in Day of the Dead, Zinnia Folk Arts News   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

Here are a few photos of our Day of the Dead Celebration which included face painting, headband making and paper flower making in the shop. Thanks everyone for stopping in and joining us to talk about departed loved ones, the ways you remember them and to prepare for parties that you were attending that night! It was super fun...

Day of the Dead at Zinnia Folk Arts

10.09
2014

Roundup of Past Day of the Dead Posts

Posted by Anne Damon in Day of the Dead   /   LEAVE A COMMENT

Day of the Dead is coming soon and in many places in Mexico, people are preparing for this special holiday. Today I thought I'd link you up to the posts I've done in the past about the amazing and beautiful holiday, Día de los Muertos. This is a roundup of old posts, so remember that the links are likely not working on the photos if the pieces have sold.

If you are interested in our current inventory of Day of the Dead folk art check here.

Day of the Dead Matadors

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