La Cadena Que No Se Corta: The Unbroken Chain

La Cadena Que No Se Corta en espagñol

el Taller, the Workshop
page I of 7

If el hogar, belongs to woman, el taller or the workshop, is men's country. It is usually the man who works inside or outside the house to create items whose sale supports the family. The most traditional thing about Mexican-American crafts is their very existence. The Mexicano streets of the city are lined with small businesses -- furniture makers, sign painters, upholsterers, auto detailers, ornamental ironworkers, bootmakers, and bakers, among others - that create hand-made things to order. Some of those businesses and their products appear in this section.

Joe Hernandez and Joe Hernandez, Jr. at the Adobe Anvil Iron Works (CV)
Joe Hernandez and Joe Hernandez, Jr. at the Adobe Anvil Iron Works (CV)

Both father and son do various kinds of ornamental ironwork, and in this photograph they are demonstrating a wine bottle rack in the shape of a vine.

Gold-plated, single bottle wine rack by Joe Hernandez, Jr. (JSG)
Gold-plated, single bottle wine rack by Joe Hernandez, Jr. (JSG)

William Flores with light fixture, August 1994 (CV)
William Flores with light fixture, August 1994 (CV)

Ornamental blacksmith William Flores with one of his hand-made light fixtures in his smithy just north of downtown Tucson. Mr. Flores runs the oldest blacksmithing business in town. The back of his workbench is filled with cattle brands burned into the wood to try the irons out -- emblems left over from the days when Tucson was a cowtown, and blacksmiths made the branding irons so necessary in open range cattle raising. Mr. Flores doesn't often work at his forge anymore, and younger men do the bulk of the ironwork, but he remains as a living link with an earlier Tucson.

Candle holders, William Flores & Sons Blacksmith Shop, August 1994 (CV)
Candle holders, William Flores & Sons Blacksmith Shop, August 1994 (CV)

View short video clips of the el Taller section shot at a University of Arizona's Museum of Art exhibit in November 1996.

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