Poor Man's Silver – The Art of Mexican Tin

February 15, 2019 Derek 0 Comments

The wealthy and elite have, for hundreds of years, used silver and different treasured metals for jewellery and ornamental objects. I name tin, the poor man's silver, as it’s extensively used to create the identical objects as these elaborated in silver, however at a a lot decrease value. Tin has fantastic properties which are pleasant to artists. Tin is cheap, available, delicate, pliable and paintable.

In Mexico, tin artwork, referred to as Hojalata, is used broadly by Mexican artisans and craftsmen to kind each helpful and decorative objects starting from purely enjoyable to elegant and delicate. Only hindered by the creativeness, tin artists produce candelabras, frames, ornaments, jewellery bins, figures, lanterns, bowls, and even nativities. Often glass, mirror, talavera tiles and different supplies are used to accent the tin work. Tin can be utilized in spiritual remembrances in nichos, votives and ex votos. On holidays, similar to Day of the Dead and Christmas particular tin objects are created to adorn the house.

The artist begins his work with a flat piece of tin. Using a pointed instrument, the artist scores the tin with the supposed design. Next, relying on the specified consequence, the design is reduce utilizing highly effective shears. Cutting is mostly performed earlier than hammering. The hammering, tooling and engraving course of is completed using a big selection of hand instruments to yield quite a lot of patterns. When the instrument begins, the tin is laid over leather-based, suede or heavy fabric to melt the blows of the hammering. The metallic is smoothed, after which shaped into the specified form, be it field, body or determine. The ultimate step is the portray, in that case desired, with aniline or different work.

Tin artwork types fluctuate all through Mexico. Tin artists from Oaxaca choose to depart their items pure and glossy, or go to the opposite excessive, portray the objects with brilliant vibrant colours. The tin from San Miguel de Allende is put by a course of to age or oxidize the tin earlier than shaping it into the specified consequence. The well-known Cielito Lindo Estudio, in San Miguel de Allende, creates legacy and extremely collectible items utilizing oxidized tin nichos painted in electrical coloured with humorous, cultural and non secular motifs.