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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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Skeleton Couple, tin plaque
Handpainted by Paulo Cortes Higuera, San Miguel de Allende
SIZE: 9 inches tall.
SKU: TN-8_038
$9.95
Original price: $18.50
Save 46%
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Skeleton Dancer Guy
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_010
$3.75
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Skeleton Dog, tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4.5 inches long
SKU: TN-8_016
$3.75
Qty
Skeleton Drinker, tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_009
$3.75
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Skeleton Holding Skulls, tin figure
Mexican punched tin skeleton ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 6.5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_013
$3.75
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Skeleton Horseback Rider, tin wall plaque (guirnalda)
Tin wall plaque holds printed image of skeleton, is handmade by Rocio Pindter
SIZE: 13 inches tall by 9" wide
SKU: TN-8_036
$25.00
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Skeleton in Bathtub, Mexican Nicho, 13-inch
Handmade Mexican tin nicho frame by Jaime Hdz. Cruz
Frame measures 13 inches tall by 9" wide. Sits upright on table, or hangs on a wall.
SKU: TN-8_040
$39.00
Sold Out
Skeleton Mariachi Guitarist, with angel wings, tin wall art
Tin work by Taos Artesanias in San Miguel de Allende
Measures 9 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_032
$9.95
Original price: $15.00
Save 34%
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Skeleton Mariachi Singer, with angel wings, tin wall plaque
Handmade in San Miguel de Allende by Taos Artesanias
Size 9 inches tall.
SKU: TN-8_033
$9.95
Original price: $15.00
Save 34%
Qty
Skeleton Mariachi Violinist, with angel wings, tin wall decor
Tin wall art handmade in San Miguel de Allende
Measures 9 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_034
$9.95
Original price: $15.00
Save 34%
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Skeleton Mermaid with Mandolin, tin wall plaque
Skeleton mermaid playing mandolin, Mexican tin wall decor, handmade in Oaxaca
Measures 10 inches tall by 8" wide.
SKU: TN-8_005
$12.50
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Skeleton Mermaid, tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4.5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_017
$3.75
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Skeleton Riding Wagon
Day of Dead tin figure, handmade in Oaxaca
Measures 5 inches tall, painted one side only.
SKU: TN-8_027
$3.75
Qty
Skeleton Woman, tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_011
$3.75
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Skull and Crossbones, pink, tin ornament
Mexican skull art tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4.5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_021
$3.75
Sold Out
Skull and Crossbones, white
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4.5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_022
$3.75
Qty
Skull, red accents, tin plaque
Mexican tin ornament handmade in Oaxaca by Conrado Villegas Alcázar
SIZE: 4.5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_029
$12.00
Qty
Skull, smoked finish
Mexican skull art tin figure, by Conrado Villegas
SIZE: 4.5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_028
$12.00
Qty
Skull, tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_020
$3.75
Qty
Tin Skeleton Man with Serape and Sombrero, red
Tin figure handmade in Oaxaca by Artesanias Garcia.
Measures 9.5 inches tall
SKU: TN-8_030
$8.95
Qty
 
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