How Mexican Artisans Create Beautiful Tin Mirrors
Discover the intricate process of creating beautiful Mexican tin mirrors through tracing, engraving, welding, and soldering. Learn about the history and cultural significance of this traditional craft and support Mexican tin artisans to preserve their skills and heritage.
If you have ever seen a Mexican tin mirror, you know how stunning it can be. These intricate and ornamental pieces of art are made through a complex process that involves tracing, cutting, engraving, welding, and soldering. Let's take a closer look at the process of creating a standing mirror.
Tracing and Cutting
To begin the process, the artisan first traces an oval outline onto a tin sheet, which will serve as the frame for the mirror. Additional outlines are traced to create the bases that will support the mirror. These outlines are then cut to obtain molds, which will be used to shape the final pieces.
Once the pieces are cut, the artisan uses templates made of tin sheets to mark ornamental figures onto the metal. This is done using a sharp instrument called a lesna, which works like a pencil, as well as a compass to create circles and other shapes. Points and nails are used to engrave the chosen design, with some holes serving as guides for the hammering process that follows.
Welding and Soldering
The next step is to weld the pieces that assemble the mirror foot and the frame. The artisan then uses tin soldering to finish the union of the pieces. To reinforce the structure that will hold the oval mirror vertically, the bases are lined with fiberboard.
The elegance of the final product is achieved through a combination of chiseling, varnishing, and highlighting the main details of the design. Some parts of the mirror are varnished black, covering certain surfaces, while the smooth parts show the original color of the tin sheet.
Why Mexican Tin Mirrors are a Source of Pride
Mexican tin artisans are masters of their craft, and they have been creating beautiful objects for centuries. Tin, a malleable and ductile metal, has been used in Mexico since pre-Columbian times. Mexican tinwork reached its height of popularity during the 19th century when tin objects were used as decorative pieces in homes and churches.
The creation of Mexican tin mirrors is a traditional craft that requires skill, patience, and attention to detail. These beautiful mirrors are not only functional but also serve as works of art that can be passed down through generations. By supporting these artisans, we help preserve the cultural heritage of Mexico and keep alive the traditions that make this country so unique.
Today, Mexican tin artisans continue to create beautiful objects, including mirrors, picture frames, lanterns, and more. These objects are not only functional but also serve as works of art that are prized by collectors around the world. So the next time you see a Mexican tin mirror, take a moment to appreciate the hard work and dedication that went into its creation.