Hojalata Protective Hand
Employed by the Aztecs as a form of currency, mined and exported by the English, and surging in popularity in the 1930s via the collections of artists and intellectuals, tin has been an important part of the Mexican economy for centuries. Known locally as hojalata, tin work is primarily done in Guanajuato, Jalisco and Oaxaca.
These designs are individually hammered, with the hand form serving as a protective charm to bring good luck, fortune, and to repel negative energy and harm. The popularity of the hand symbol is also traced back to a 1939 trip to Paris where Frida Kahlo was gifted a set of hand earrings by Pablo Picasso. Every one of these pieces features a mirror to reflect the light, and are painted copper on both sides. They can be hung from a tree, on a wall, or even attached together to form a totem. We have two styles available – all feature top hanging loops.
This family of tin workers collaborate in their family workshop as two generations. Both skilled and experienced, this talented group create these custom hands for our shop, as well as a range of other pieces, including boxes, mirrors, earrings, napkin holders and large, layered pieces that are incredible examples of the profound creativity that abounds in Mexico.
- Sunbeam design: approximately 15cm/6in long x 7cm/2.75in wide, plus hanging loop
- Star and heart design: approximately 13cm/5in long x 9cm/3.5 wide, plus hanging loop
- These pieces should be stored in a dry location, to prevent rust.
- If they’re being stored together, they should be wrapped in paper, in order to keep the paint from scratching.
- To remove dust, they can simply be wiped with a dry cloth.
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