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Day of the Dead

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 Day of the Dead skeletons, witches and Devil figures, fold-up cemetery scenes and 3D wall plaques, all handmade in Oaxaca.

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.

Products

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A Day of Dead Collection, 10 pieces in handmade tin box
Set of 10 tin skeleton ornaments in handmade tin box
Tin skeleton figures measure 4 - 5 inches each. Box is 6.5" long x 5" tall.
SKU: TN-8_008
$35.00
Sold Out
A Day of Dead Collection, 10 pieces in handmade tin box, #2
Collection of 10 tin skeleton figures in handmade tin box.
Tin skeleton figures measure 3.5 - 5 inches tall each. Box with hinged cover measures 6 x 4.5 x 1.25 inches
SKU: TN-8_046
$29.95
Original price: $35.00
Save 14%
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Catrina & Son, tin plaque
Mexican punched tin plaque, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE 7.5 inches tall. Painted one side only.
SKU: TN-8_002
$8.95
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Catrina on Bicycle, Purple dress, Mexican tin art
Catrina in purple dress, Mexican tin art plaque
Catrina on bicycle figures measures 6.5 inches long by 7" tall. Painted front side only
SKU: TN-8_021
$9.50
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Catrina, 8.5-inch tin plaque
Mexican punched tin plaque, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 8.5 inches tall. Painted one side only
SKU: TN-8_001
$8.95
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Devil Face, tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 3.5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_024
$3.75
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Devil with Pitchfork, tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4.5 inches
SKU: TN-8_026
$3.75
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Devil with Wings, tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_025
$3.75
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Doña Inés, tin wall plaque (guirnalda), with flowers
Wall plaque features printed image of skeleton Doña Inés, holding bouquet of fabric flowers. The woman is a character in the popular Spanish play, Don Juan Tenorio.
SIZE: 13 inches tall by 9" wide. Handpainted floral border, hangs on a wall.
SKU: TN-8_035
$19.95
Original price: $26.95
Save 26%
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Fold-Up Tin Cemetery Scene Display
Fold-up cemetery scene with 10 figures is handmade in Oaxaca by Artesanias Garcia.
Display, when folded, measures 9 1/2 inches long by 6.5" wide.
SKU: TN-8_047
$39.00
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Fold-Up Tin Display - Halloween Skeletons in Cemetery
Fold-up, tin cemetery scene handmade San Miguel de Allende.
SIZE: 9.5 inches wide by 8 inches long, by 1/2", closed.
SKU: TN-8_039
$45.00
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Grim Reaper, tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 6 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_012
$3.75
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Heart with Skeleton Angels, tin wall plaque
Tinwork by Paulo Cortes Higuera.
Size: 14 inches long. Wall art.
SKU: TN-8_037
$45.00
Sold Out
La Catrina on Bicycle, tin plaque, red dress
Mexican punched tin Catrina plaque, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 6.5 inches tall. Painted with red dress. one side only
SKU: TN-8_003
$9.50
Qty
La Catrina Skull and Hat, tin plaque
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 5 inches wide
SKU: TN-8_019
$4.25
Qty
La Catrina, 4.5-inch tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4.5 inch tall
SKU: TN-8_018
$3.75
Qty
Skeleton Bass Player, tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 5.5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_014
$3.75
Qty
Skeleton Bride & Groom, tin wall plaque
Mexican punched tin plaque, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZEL 9 inches tall. Painted on one side only.
SKU: TN-8_004
$8.95
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Skeleton Catrino, tin wall plaque (guirnalda), with flowers
Tin Plaque holds printed image of Catrino, holding bouquet of tiny, fabric flowers.
SIZE: 13 inches tall by 9" wide. Hangs on a wall. Handmade by Rocio Pindter
SKU: TN-8_041
$26.95
Qty
Skeleton Catrino, tin wall plaque, black
Tin catrino figure, handmade in Oaxaca by Artesanias Garcia
Measures 9.5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_006
$7.95
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