Mexican Furniture Artisan Workplace - Factory or Workshop

Posted by on in Mexico Living

It is easy to get carried away romanticizing the idea of the Mexican furniture artisan.  It is a powerful image to conjure the picture of the craftsman who has apprenticed under his elders, having learning to use the old-world tools and techniques. Now as a journeyman schooled in the authentic rustic, hacienda and other Mexico furniture traditions, the works have great utility, but also please the eye as artisanal works of art.



The truth of the matter? The truth of the matter is that there a lot of truth to this image for many of our artisans. Our artisans are highly skilled purveyors of their craft. Their facility for shaping wood and metal is truly remarkable. Their versatile knowledge of how to finish their work to yield that special something is fantastic. But that is only a part of the truth. Other aspects of the truth are not always so romantic. The work can be dangerous, complete with sharp objects and heavy lifting. The marketplace can be difficult and changes rapidly. We value being able to help keep the traditions alive and help sustain the small artisan economy. 



Some of our artisans are small family businesses. You literally can walk or drive by their place of work and not realize there is an enterprise there. Many of these small factories are literally open air, set in front of a gorgeous Mexico mountain landscape or rural scene. We have been out with them on a frosty morning, looking to pitch in to keep warm -- the morning light streaming in through an opening in the roof or window. Sometimes our artisans own horses or burros or chickens and livestock of other various ilk. Usually there are dogs. Often family members are the employees, relying on this business for their livelihood.



Other owners now are larger enterprises, having started with similar humble roots, but have grown to the point where they have cultivated their reputation and gained access to markets in the US and elsewhere. As a supplier of furniture to Americans and Canadians seeking to furnish their Mexico Dream Home, we believe it is important that we collaborate with smaller artisans capable of tailoring the work to our customers’ requirements. This enables us to address custom needs that customers often have to optimize space or enhance the flow and energy of their living space. While we also work with larger providers in Mexico, the artisanal connection defines the essence of Gringo Furniture and makes us who we are.



It is always with great interest that we visit our artisans throughout Mexico.  They are generous and friendly hosts. Their workspaces reveal much about them, and vary as much as their personalities and furniture styles vary. In their workspace, some of our Mexico artisans will show themselves as artistic personalities. They can be seemingly unaware of their surroundings, intent on the work before them. Others show more of a supervisory spirit. They command the space, mentoring, directing what needs to be done and ensuring the final product measures up.  

Finally, many Mexican furniture workspaces would not be complete without an altar. In Mexico, the line between social relationships, work and connection to the more profound meanings of life are not nearly as separated as we typically think of it in the US and Canada. The altar reminds us of that.



I hope you enjoy this glimpse into the world of the Mexico furniture artisan. 

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