Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Torres de Fundición (Foundry Towers)

It's fall again and the end of rainy season here in San Miguel, and it's still raining!  Usually by this time our rains have tapered off.  We’ll see how long it goes on.  The rains are a  good omen for many people including those who work the campo bringing in the crops,  and for people like me that keep a few bees.
I love to see the country side filling up with those fall wild flowers, and it's starting to happen again.  I am hoping for a good honey crop this year but you never know.
Foto by David Tarrant
One of the riches for those of us that are makers is sometimes giving hand made gifts to those people in our lives that make a difference.  Juan Lopez is a friend of mine that lives in the rural village of Mineral de Pozos here in my state of Guanajuato.  He is a humble farmer and wonderful mason that supports his family through the work he does.  Juan is the first one that introduced me to the details of apiculture by taking me with him to harvest honey from a wild bee hive.  The hive was located in one of the many open mines found in Pozos and the whole undertaking was quite a process.
In return for what Juan shared with me I decided to make him a great belt buckle, and knowing who it was going to and why I was making it made the creative process even more fun and inspiring!
The buckle has a brass backing plate a little over 1mm thick.  It is embellished with a bezel set piece of turquoise from Arizona, hand cut by my friend Kim Savora.  A small decorative antique piece of metal that came from an old hacienda, a decorative scroll of brass made to match the design of the belt.  The scroll is black, it has a hard permanent patina because it came from a plaque on an antique piano, and last but not least is a saltwater etched drawing on copper.
The copper etch is of the 3 foundry towers in Pozos that Juan knows well, located just a couple hundred yards from the plot of land he works and sews.

This last process of salt-water etching was first taught to me by my friend Kalaya Steede, it's great fun.  I am excited about having the opportunity to share this fascinating technique 
with my friends and students here in Mexico over the coming months by teaching 2 different workshops.  The first will be at Taller Tierra y Plata located in Mexico City, October 22 to 24, and the second at Mares 
Taller in Merida, Yucatan, November, 14 to 16.

Hope to see you there!


  1. Será un placer tenerte por Mérida, Jesse!!!

    1. Gracias Mariana, estoy muy animado a ir por alli y trabajar con ustedes otra vez!

  2. What a lovely and thoughtful piece! I'm sure your friend will love it- and as for apicultura? I find it very interesting, something I'd love to try (though I am not permitted because I live in the center of Tucson and we have "Africanized killer bees". I love artisan honeys, learned to love them while living in Italy, where they commonly sell about 8-10 different varieties ( all delicious!)

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    Qué pedazo encantador y atento! Estoy seguro de que su amigo le va a encantar, y en cuanto a apicultura? Me parece muy interesante, algo que me encanta probar (aunque no me es permitido porque vivo en el centro de Tucson y tenemos 'abejas asesinas africanas'. Me encanta mieles artesanales, aprendió a amar mientras vivía en Italia, donde se suelen vender unos 8-10 diferentes variedades (todos deliciosos!)