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My Trip to Mexico
Tuesday, 28 May 2013 4:25:00 PM Australia/Sydney
There is nothing I love more than going back to Mexico. It is my soul country. I feel like I have arrived back home when I get there. It is the warmth and humour of the people and the artistry that keeps my heart there.
But there is also something indescribably surreal or dreamlike about Mexico. I am not quite sure what it is. Perhaps it is the diversity that comes from the inheritance of two cultures, the indigenous and the Spanish that live together, side by side. It is an intoxicating mix, and is evident in its food, music, handicrafts and language.
Mexico is the Najo heritage and so much of our identity and inspiration is tied up with the traditions of the silver industry there. Our collections spring from the creativity and extraordinary craftsmanship of the silversmiths of Taxco.
The creativity in Mexico is evident in in all aspects of daily life, from their daily expressions of clever jokes and play on words to the sweetness and humour of their handicrafts.
So on my recent trip there, not only did I experience the absolute delight of looking at handmade silver jewellery, talking to the silver smiths and working on designs, I also breathed in all that I could during my stay. I wandered the winding cobbled streets and markets, day and night.
Each day I ate in my favourite restaurant in the courtyard of a converted 1620 monastery, now a hotel. I ate Maguey, a fruit from the agave succulent plant with a creamy texture and weird taste, and I delighted in the traditional “chicken with mole”, an extraordinary dish, the sauce made from 20 or more ingredients, mainly chiles, spices and chocolate!
I discovered the original house and workshop of the famed William Spratling , the man who was responsible for the resurgence of the silver industry in Taxco, and who had an enormous influence on 20th century silver jewellery design. Many of his designs are still manufactured today and the original pieces are prized collector’s items.
Ahh … Mexico!! I could live my life within its courtyards and gardens festooned with bougainvillea, eating enchiladas and listening to sentimental rancheros and the clanging of the bells.