LAZO, a platform celebrating traditional Mexican master artisans and culture, announced today its launch into the U.S. market. The LAZO site is a curated collection of these artisans and their unique, traditional pieces, as well as thoughtfully developed experiences. LAZO shares the stories of Mexico, the artisans and their works, and connects them with potential consumers throughout Mexico and around the world, now including the U.S. An updated website, in English and Spanish, accompanies the launch, and can be explored at www.lazo.store.
The featured artisans work in traditional crafts, from woven linen clothing items and rugs to traditional papier mâché dolls and wooden toys, from papel picado (the art of paper cutting) to carefully sculpted skull candles made from beeswax. These items, and more, can be purchased via the LAZO store and shipped all around the world. The LAZO artisans include:
- Camelia Ramos: Leads the Xolopostil workshop where woven fabrics are made of pedal and waist looms, making scarves, rebozos, traditional quexquemitl, and blouses among other pieces with contemporary touches Alejandro Díaz: Master painter of bark paper, or amate paper; Díaz has been awarded various prizes and mentions in contests of Popular Art· Danny Pedro Mauricio: Master in the craft of paper cutting, making detailed designs from skulls and skeletons to custom designs for special events· José Hernández: Fourth generation traditional candlemaker who innovated the design of different models of candles using beeswax; his candles can measure up to 5.5 feet tall and weigh as much as 22 pounds each
- Josefina Jimenez: Fifth generation tapestry weaver using pedal looms and natural dyes; one of the most recognized artisans in the community, Josefina has received awards such as the Grand Prize, the Benito Juarez Prize, the Southeast Natural Dyes Prize, and many others
- Mario López: Expert traditional wood toymaker for more than 20 years; taught by his father, Mario makes puppets, spinners, cup and ball toys, and yoyos that awaken the imagination of children and adults
- Sotero Lemus: Fourth generation paper sculptor and the first master craftsman to elaborate miniature cardboard pieces, receiving many recognitions
- Víctor Rúben Hernández Leiva: Expert in the craft of metalworking for 55 years; learned the craft at age ten and has been awarded more than 25 prizes by institutions such as FONART and the Oaxacan Institute of Handicraft; he was recognized by the Municipality of Oaxaca of Juarez as a Distinguished Citizen
- Maria Estela Cruz and Clemente Silva: The husband and wife team are dedicated full-time to the creation of knotted tapestries (same technique as Persian rugs); Maria Estela, a true artist who finds magic in her craft, learned this art when she was 11 years old and fell in love with what her hands were able to create; Clemente, who learned the process from his wife, admires her so much that he decided to follow her steps and today, they work together as master artisans in the creation of these tapestries
- Jan Christian Ferrer: At age 11, he asked his mother if she would teach him the art of embroidery, but she refused; He was taught secretly by one of his aunts, and at age 13 he mastered every “Mazahua” embroidery technique; He won his first prize at age 19 and today is one of the few men dedicated to the art
- Ezequiel Vicente and family: Formerly a teacher at the local school in his community, he stated drawing when he was six years old and has led a family workshop for the past five years, which includes his wife and daughters-in-law; Ezequiel is famous for the beautiful compositions he creates
- Carmen Vazquez: One of the most talented weavers in Chiapas, Carmen has dedicated her life to preserving blackstrap loom techniques; She teaches this craft at the local school in her town and leads a cooperative of Mayan artisans; She has been awarded many recognitions and prizes for her endless efforts and beautiful creations
“By bringing LAZO to the U.S. market, we hope to share the rich and authentic traditions of Mexico with people around the world, while shining a light on the quality and artistry of our people, and specifically of these master artisans,” said Paola De la Rosa, General Manager, LAZO. “Our goal is to provide the artisans a platform from which they can tell their stories, through their words and through their works, and to inspire art enthusiasts and traveler aficionados to experience a deeper appreciation the experiences Mexico has to offer.”
“Through the handcrafted items and curated experiences, LAZO offers authentic and unique opportunities to tell the stories of our culture and showcase the impressive works of these master artisans to a global audience,” added De la Rosa. “We are excited to be available in U.S.A. and look forward to sharing the beauty and wonders of Mexico.