/Tin Art /Tin Animal Figures

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Tin Animal Figures

The Radiance of Tin Art

Tinwork is one of Mexico's oldest crafts. Rooted in Spanish colonial times, tinplate workers manufactured it by dipping thin sheets of iron into molten tin. This coats the iron with a bright, durable surface that is resistant to rusting. Our tin figures are entirely handmade (cutout, punched, embossed and soldered) by craftsmen using great precision and artistic flair. Painted with bright, durable lacquer and enamel colors, tin figures are inexpensive, lightweight and long lasting. In modern Mexico, the two centers of tin smithing are Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende, and we carry products from both cities. For more details, download our promotional flyer at this link.

In this section of our Mexican tin art collection we offer flat animal ornaments (except for birds), from several of Oaxaca's acclaimed tinsmiths. They tool these figures by hand, four flat pieces of tin at at time. They are not stamped out with a machine. The artists paint the tin in durable and shiny lacquer, enamel and sometimes automobile paints to give then a gleaming, enduring finish.

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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Frog Sitting, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Frog measures 3.5 inches tall
SKU: TN-3_020
$3.75
Qty
Frog, swimming, tin ornament
Tin frog figure is handmade by Aquino Family in Oaxaca
Frog measures 4 1/2 inches long. Painted on one side.
SKU: TN-3_036
$3.75
Qty
Grasshopper, flat, Mexican painted tin art
Grasshopper tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4 3/4 inches long.
SKU: TN-3_016
$3.75
Qty
House Fly, painted tin figure
Fly tin figure handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 6 1/2 inches wide
SKU: TN-3_019
$3.75
Qty
Iguana, painted tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Iguana measures 4 inches tall
SKU: TN-3_014
$3.75
Qty
Lion, painted tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4 inches long
SKU: TN-3_007
$3.75
Qty
Monkey, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 5 inches tall
SKU: TN-3_008
$3.75
Qty
Owl and Squirrel, Mexican tin ornament by HG
Handmade in Oaxaca by Artesanias Garcia
Measures 5 inches long. Painted one side only.
SKU: TN-4_030
$4.25
Qty
Panda Bear, tin figure
Tin panda bear is handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4 inches long
SKU: TN-3_005
$3.75
Qty
Pony (yellow), painted tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Yellow pony measures 4 inches long
SKU: TN-3_021
$3.75
Qty
Rabbit - pure copper figure
Hand-tooled rabbit ornament is made of copper by Aquino family in Oaxaca
Measures 5 inches long.
SKU: TN-3_028
$7.95
Sold Out
Rabbit with Wings, tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Rabbit measures 4 inches long
SKU: TN-3_013
$3.75
Qty
Rabbit, punched tin ornament
Tin rabbit is handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4 inches tall
SKU: TN-3_003
$3.75
Qty
Reindeer, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4 inches long
SKU: TN-3_009
$3.75
Qty
Seahorse, punched tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 5 inches tall
SKU: TN-3_022
$3.75
Qty
Snail, tin figure
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Snail measures 3.5 inches long
SKU: TN-3_011
$3.75
Qty
TIN MAGNET - Tropical Fish
Tin fish magnet refrigerator art handmade in Oaxaca
Measures 2 3/4 inches long
SKU: TN-9_02
$2.75
Qty
Whale (brown), tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
SIZE: 4 inches long
SKU: TN-3_027
$3.75
Sold Out
Whale, blue, tin ornament
Mexican punched tin ornament, handmade in Oaxaca
Tin whale figure measures 5 inches long
SKU: TN-3_026
$3.75
Qty
White Rabbit, tin ornament
Handcrafted, flat tin rabbit ornament made in Oaxaca
White rabbit measures 5 inches long.
SKU: TN-3_039
$3.75
Qty
 
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