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Tin Heart Plaques

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.

This subcategory of Mexican tin art contains colorful tin heart ornaments and wall plaques, all handmade in Oaxaca. We have the biggest selection of handmade Mexican tin hearts online.

Please take the time to browse our other tin products, including animal figures, birds, Day of Dead, Christmas ornaments and tin stars, nicho frames and fridge magnets. Use the drop-down menu above, under TIN ART.

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.


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Tin Heart Plaque, sunflower design, 9-inch, (HG)
Mexican tin heart wall plaque, handmade by Artesanias Garcia in Oaxaca, Mexico
SIZE: 9.5 inches tall by 6.5" wide. Painted one side only.
SKU: TN-2_014
Tin Heart Wall Plaque
Heart wall plaque handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 6.5 inches tall; painted front side only
SKU: TN-2_067
Tin Hearts Wall Plaque, 3D Design with 15 hearts
Handmade Tin Heart Wall Art from San Miguel de Allende
Measures 10 inches tall. Hangs on a wall.
SKU: TN-2_079
TIN MAGNET - Heart with Red Cross
Tin heart with magnet, handmade in Oaxaca, Mexico
Measures 2 1/4 inches tall.
SKU: TN-9_24
TIN MAGNET - Sacred Heart with Flame #2
Sacred heart tin magnet, refrigerator art handmade in Oaxaca
Measures 2 inches tall
SKU: TN-9_28
TIN MAGNET - Sacred Heart with Flame #3
Tin heart with magnet, handmade in Oaxaca, Mexico
Measures 2 1/4 inches tall
SKU: TN-9_30
TIN MAGNET - Sacred Heart with Flame, #5
Sacred Heart refrigerator magnet is handmade in Oaxaca
Measures 2 inches tall
SKU: TN-9_32
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