Xaquixe Glass Studio
The road to sustainability is not an easy task. Salime and Christian, founders of Xaquixe, are making it possible. This workshop is dedicated to developing sustainable technology and stimulating social impact. For over 15 years they have been pioneering the sustainable art community in Oaxaca.
As you pull into the shop, you’re greeted by the friendliest resident dogs who add to the family vibe of the factory. The team at Xaquixe is diverse in expertise with individuals skilled in engineering, art and design, architecture, and communications. Their diverse interests and abilities are welded together by a passion for the environment, sustainable development, and social impact.
Touring the workshop, you see firsthand their innovative and eco-friendly production process that leads to their exquisite glassware. All glassware is produced from recycled glass gathered from local communities. They take the collected glass, select the highest quality pieces and wash them. Then, the glass bottles are crushed and sent to the smelting furnace. The furnace runs on 100% vegetable oil and produces renewable clean energy throughout the production process. Local restaurants and hotels donate the oil used to power the furnace to continue the sustainable production chain.
Once melted, the highly skills artisans from the community blow the glass into incredible pieces to share with the world. They employ and train local artisans as a part of their mission to enhance socio-economic opportunity in Oaxaca and now have over ten locals that craft the sustainable glassware.
At Ayres Studio in Mexico City, they aim to support local artisans while crafting pieces that tell a story. This one-of-a-kind studio is located in the artsy enclave of the La Roma neighborhood and is woman-owned and operated. Ayres Studio visionaries and owners are Joana, a Mexican native from the Yucatan Peninsula specializing in industrial design, and Karim, a Venezuelan native with a background in textile design.
The studio partners with local artisans in both Puebla and the Yucatán to create one-of-a-kind pieces that are individually crafted by hand. When visiting the studio, the lava stone planters at the entrance catch your eyes by welcoming you in a bold, yet simplistic manner. Joana and Karim shared more about the lava stone and wood design process. The artisan’s creativity and vision play heavily into the creation of each piece. They utilize simplistic, traditional tools, mainly a chisel and hammer, to transform each stone into a functional work of art. The process can be painstaking and slow, as there is no turning back if a mistake is made. The artisans are patient and delicate, working each piece with the utmost care and passion for their trade.
After seeing the understated elegance that spring from each one-of-a-kind piece we knew we had to partner with the studio to include this unique artistry in the Wanderluxe Home collection.
Weavers of Cancuc
Wanderluxe Home partners with over 30 women weavers to create stunningly intricate textile pieces. Chiapas, Mexico is known for their colorful textiles, so we knew we had to witness the design process and meet the incredible artisan communities who keep this form of art alive and thriving. The artisans Wanderluxe Home partners with are from three different communities: Los Mangos, Las Flores, and Jal Pak.
Visiting the women is a bit of a journey, traveling through winding mountainous roads for just over two hours from San Cristobal, Chiapas which is the closest city to the area these artisans live. It’s a stunning, picturesque drive that gives you a true feel for the mysterious state covered in lush jungle and mountains.
The weavers use a backstrap loom to create each colorful piece by hand. Backstrap weaving is the most traditional form of weaving in Mexico and to this day is still how many artisans will craft clothing for their families and make a living for themselves. The backstrap loom they use has two wood beams. The weaver straps one beam to their back, hence the namesake. Then, they secure the other beam to an anchored object. The weaver then strings the thread through the two beams. To craft the designs, the weaver maneuvers their body in a way that adjusts the angles and tension. It’s a process that requires great patience and skill which you witness in the intricate final product that boasts flawless design and bold patterns.
Wanderluxe Home is looking forward to sharing the beauty of their textiles. Through our artisan partnership we hope the collection will brighten your home and tell a story.
Daniel and Maritza are the dynamic duo behind this design studio. They met in architecture school and then co-founded Casa Mineral studio in 2015 with a common goal: bring Mexican marble and design together to create handmade, yet contemporary pieces. They draw their inspiration from the incredible organic brilliance of the natural stone that has formed over millions of years. In a way, it manifests their shared passion of subtle, slow living, enjoying the beauty in life through thoughtfully designed home accent pieces.
The marble they use is sourced from quarries around Mexico. Your pieces from Casa Mineral could be from marble quarried in Monterrey, Querétaro, Guerrero, Puebla, or Tlaxcala. Casa Mineral works with a small family-run workshop in Puebla that is led by 3rd generation artisans to create their pieces. The artisans learned the intricate craft and techniques from their fathers and grandfathers that came before them, expertly forming the marble into works of art.
Las Mujeres del Barro Rojo
To arrive at the home workshop and pottery studio of Las Mujeres del Barro Rojo, or The Women of Red Clay in English, you take a stunning ride surrounded by the Sierra Mardre del Sur mountain range. Once in the village you head down a bumpy dirt road that leads to bright blue doors that joyfully welcome you.
When you meet the women, they passionately detail the process they use to create their magnificent clay pieces from start to finish. Their process begins by mining clay in the surrounding mountains by hand and carrying it in their shawls back home. When they arrive back home they process the clay with water and sand to produce the materials to craft the pottery. From there, the women use simple tools and their hands to shape the pottery into magnificent works of art. Next, they burnish the pieces with a smooth stone to create the glazed finish. Lastly, they fire the formed clay pieces in a smokeless outdoor kiln.
This incredibly delicate process is used for every piece that the women create. Purchasing from our Barro Rojo Collection directly supports these amazing women artisans.
Pedal Loom Weavers of Mitla
One of our favorite things about travel at Wanderluxe Home is the deeply rooted traditions you can uncover from something so seemingly simple. Our gorgeous tea towels are handwoven in the Zapotec weaving village of Mitla, Mexico using a centuries old technique called pedal loom weaving. During a visit just before the pandemic our gracious host and partner, Rodrigo, helped us discover the tradition and methods used to craft these intricate and beautiful pieces. In Mitla you’re welcomed by charming cobblestone streets decorated with colorful textiles around every corner and smiling faces as you enter each shop or co-op. Rodrigo explained to us that weaving is a way of life for many families in the region since introduced by the Spaniards over 500 years ago. His family’s workshop employs 8 local weavers who have learned the craft from their ancestors, just as Rodrigo was taught by his father. During our visit, Rodrigo gave me a quick crash course and I quickly learned that in spite of the ease and fluidity that he has when weaving, it is a difficult process!
Our La Mesa Tea Towels are the start of what we hope will be a long and exciting partnership as we continue to expand our textile collection.
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