Makers from Mexico: Cinco de Mayo
In the past, if we ever celebrated Cinco de Mayo, we’d likely be toasting with a cursory round of margaritas and maybe a taco or two. But this day should be about more than being a little too borracho. It should be about celebrating Mexican freedom, history and culture.
Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May in Spanish, commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French at the Battle of Puebla back in 1862. Though it’s not widely celebrated in Mexico outside of Puebla, it’s the perfect occasion to pay homage to Mexican heritage. And on this Cinco de Mayo, we’re turning our eye toward stellar Mexican design and the craftsmen who create it.
One of our very favourite hotels on Maison Flaneur, Circulo Mexicano, first turned us on to incredible Mexican design. The stunning hotel in the heart of Mexico City aims to immerse its guests in authentic contemporary Mexican culture. The space is filled with gorgeous handwoven jute chairs, sculptural yet functional pieces (like coat racks!) made from native oak or tzalam wood and beautiful works by local artists.
Naturally, our curiosity was piqued and we tumbled down the rabbit hole, going on a deep dive of Mexican design and craft. And though we are by no means the first – we’re woefully late to the party, in fact – we want to share some of the things we love. Because on the 5th of May and every day, these artisans deserve to be celebrated.
Doña Rosa pottery:
We adore the traditional Oaxacan pottery crafted by Doña Rosa. Ceramicists and mass manufacturers across the country emulte Rosa’s signature barro negro, but her descendants carry on the craft with exceptional skill.
This hundred-year-old company has been producing striking, unique rugs for generations. The bold, geometric textiles are perfect for every home – in and outside of Mexico City.
Joel Escalona’s balance bowls:
Playful, captivating, covetable. Joel Escalona’s signature sculptural bowls are a beautiful example of top Mexican craftsmanship. Though they can be tough to lay your hands on, they are worth the wait. You’ll keep them forever.
Casa Viviana candles:
We certainly love our sweet hand-painted candles, but they’re naught but a memory after a few hours’ burning. When we’re looking for longevity in our candles (there’s no burning here), we opt for the delicate, intricate candles handmade by Doña Viviana Alávez and her family.
The Palm Women baskets:
You can find sophisticated, hand-woven baskets in every state across Mexico. In fact, these woven palm pieces are one of Mexico’s oldest traditional creations. And while we love these traditional baskets, we’re huge fans of The Palm Women and their 21st century takes on a storied craft.