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Christmas & Angels

The Radiance of Tin Art

Tinwork is one of Mexico's most colorful crafts. Rooted in Spanish colonial times, the art of tin making has changed very little since. Tin was originally manufactured by dipping thin sheets of iron into molten tin to coat them with a bright, durable surfactethat was resistant to rusting. These figures are entirely handmade (cutout, punched, embossed and soldered) by craftsmen using great precision and artistic flair. Painted with durable lacquer and enamel colors, tin figures are inexpensive, lightweight and long lasting.

In this section of our Mexican tin art collection, we offer an array of tin products for the Christmas and holiday season. These include boxed and folding nativity scenes, and colorful, flat Christmas theme ornaments, all handmade in Oaxaca. These figures are tooled by hand, not stamped out with a machine, then painted on both sides in brilliant, gleaming colors. Use these flat ornaments to decorate your holiday tree, include them inside your holiday greeting cards, or use them as unique gift box ID tags. Add a few colorful stars to your front-door wreath.

The age of tinwork in Mexico goes back at least to the 1700s. Tin was originally manufactured by dipping thin sheets of iron into molten tin to coat them with a bright surface that was durable and highly resistant to rusting. (However, if the surface is scratched, revealing the iron underneath, it will begin to rust if exposed to rain or high humidity.) For an artisan, the appeal of working with tin is its lightness, strength and low cost. It is easily bent, cut and soldered to form intricate shapes.

In eras gone by, Mexicans decorated their homes with tin photo frames, candelabras, lanterns, tin and glass frames (nichos) holding pictures of saints. In humble churches, tin crowns were set on the heads of statues, lit tin lanterns were carried during processions, tin candlesticks adorn the altars.

Tinwork is often referred as the poor man's silver. In Mexico, every religious and festive object handcrafted in silver has a counterpart in humbler forms made from tinplate. Yet the same degree of skill and passion the silversmiths put into their work could be found in the less opulent pieces made by tinsmiths. Their pieces, too had an alluring shine, that charming brilliance.

These days, tinsmiths in Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende are carrying on the traditions, making Christmas decorations, tin soldiers, heart-shaped wall plaques and a variety of clever toys. Most of their work is for export to the southern United States, where tinwork is one of the most visible manifestations of Mexican Culture. Most popular with American collectors are the cheerful, flat ornaments, of which we have many here at Viva Oaxaca Folk Art. Take a look and enjoy.

Products

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A Christmas Collection - 10 Ornaments In a Tin Box
10 different flat tin ornaments in box, all handcrafted in Oaxaca.
Ornaments measure 4.5 inches tall average. Box measures 6" long x 4.5" wide, by 1.5" deep.
SKU: TN-6_003
$29.95
Original price: $35.00
Save 14%
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A Tin Nativity Set - 10 hand-painted figures in aged-look box
Tin nativity set handmade in San Miguel de Allende by Juan Pastor Bautista
Human figures measure 3 1/2 inches tall. Set of 10 pieces in a painted box
SKU: TN-6_006
$29.50
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Angel Cat, tin figure, blue
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 6 inches tall
SKU: TN-6_031
$5.95
Sold Out
Angel Cat, tin figure, red
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 6 inches tall
SKU: TN-6_033
$5.95
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Angel Cat, tin figure, yellow
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 6 inches tall
SKU: TN-6_032
$5.95
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Angel Cats - Set of 3
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 6 inches tall; three cats, blue, red and yellow
SKU: TN-6_034
$15.00
Sold Out
Angel Child, tin Christmas ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4.5 inches long
SKU: TN-6_019
$3.75
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Angel flying right, tin figure by Conrado
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 6.5 inches long
SKU: TN-6_027
$14.50
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Angel Flying w/Star, tin Christmas ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4.5 inches long
SKU: TN-6_020
$3.75
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Angel Flying, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4 inches long
SKU: TN-6_018
$3.75
Qty
Angel in Pink Dress, tin Christmas ornament
Flat, Mexican tin angel ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Flat figure measures 4 inches wide.
SKU: TN-6_022
$3.25
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Angel Praying, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4 inches tall
SKU: TN-6_021
$3.75
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Angel w/Choir Book, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4.5 inches tall
SKU: TN-6_028
$3.75
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Angel w/Silver Wings
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
ANGEL w/Silver Wings - Punched Tin Mexican Ornament, Handmade in Oaxaca
SKU: TN-6_023
$3.75
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Angel with Candle, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 3 inches wide
SKU: TN-6_024
$3.25
Qty
Angel with Rosary Beads
Flat, Mexican tin angel ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 5 inches tall
SKU: TN-6_043
$3.75
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Angel, welcoming arms tin ornament
Tin angel, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4 inches tall.
SKU: TN-6_009
$3.75
Qty
Angel-Bell
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 5 inches tall
SKU: TN-6_017
$3.75
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Angels Flying, pair of 2
Tin Angel Wall Plaques, Handmade by Conrado Villegas.
SIZE: 7.5 inches long, each
SKU: TN-6_015
$24.50
Original price: $29.00
Save 16%
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Bell with Ribbon, Mexican tin Christmas ornament
Mexican punched tin art ornament handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 3 3/4 inches tall
SKU: TN-6_001
$3.75
Qty
 
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