Newsletter July 2015
“How to describe that slow Mexican winter, so leisured in unfolding, so brief in passage, that was a radiant summer? How to record the long lull, the safe sequence, the seamless span of equal days…”
Sybille Bedford from A Visit To Don Octavio.
We have brought winter from Mexico in time for our English Summer ship. In our cargo of Mexican sunshine, we also have….
Cement Encaustic Floor Tiles have been made in Mexico for centuries. Every small town has at least one maker if not several. However in recent years these “Mosaicos Hidraulicos” have been superceded by cheap porcelain and the craft is in danger of dying out in Mexico. Milagros has recently started working with a small family run workshop who have been making these tiles for generations. We are now holding stock of 16 colours and are taking commissions for patterned ones. These cement encaustics are individually hand made. First a coloured slurry is poured into the mold, which gives the tiles a 5mm deep coloured surface. Then a volcanic aggregate of concrete dry mix is spread on the back before the tile is formed with 25 tons of pressure. the combination of making process and materials produces a range of soft subtle colours which give hard waring, slightly shimmering surface when laid. The father of the family has been making these tiles for almost 60 years. He followed his father and grandfather into the business.
The paper cuts are a synthesis of European, Asian and Mexican artist traditions. Paper making and cutting found its way from China to the Middle East and was then brought to the Iberian Peninsula by the Moors. The Mayans in Mexico had a parallel culture of paper making to the Chinese. It was oppressed by the Spanish due to is spiritual connections. The papel picado is a continuation of this tradition.
For all those, like myself who constantly chase order but all too often it evades capture. These baskets will give you a head start. The baskets are hand made in Mexico in five different sizes, large and small laundry baskets, ironing baskets, storage baskets and paper baskets. The colour combinations are numerous.
Hand made, the paper streamers work well both indoors and outdoors. Adding a joyous touch to all occasions. Milagros has been working on several exciting projects. These include Pizza Union, Chilangos, Soho House and Wahaca. Our hand made products from Mexico enhancing contemporary designed building and restaurants.