OBSIDIAN PROJECT - INNOVATING TRADITION THROUGH OBSIDIAN
presented by Anáhuac University, curated by Ricardo Salas and Adrián Rosado
PROMOTING ARTISANAL PRODUCTION IN THE STATE OF HIDALGO THROUGH DESIGNER AND ARTISAN COLLABORATIONS
On show at the launch-exhibition of MEXICO DESIGN TIME were around 35 functional objects in Black Gold Sheen Obsidian by students, graduates and designers from Anáhuac university (Mexico City) and crafted by skilled artisans from the state of Hidalgo. The cultural diversity present in the Mexican state of Hidalgo is manifested tangibly through its handicraft production and unique designs. Craftsmanship and design are living examples of people with skills capable of combining a wide variety of expressions and feelings from their place of origin and through their craft. “The Tradition of Innovating through Popular Art” is a program of the School of Design at Anáhuac and the government of Hidalgo with the Secretary of Culture of Hidalgo, in which students and designers propose design concepts to revitalise the crafts and develop new products that generate a creative wealth that benefits the artisanal communities in Hidalgo.
The proposals of the first stage of the program that make up the collection are projects of students, graduates and designers made in golden sheen obsidian, originally from the municipality of Epazoyucan, and made by hands of artisans from Pañhé, Tecozautla. During the design process, the students of the first group worked six months under the guidance of the Mexican designer Silvino Lópeztovar, and the second group worked under the direction of the UK curator Marion Friedmann. The process ranged from gathering knowledge about materials and the craft production, visits to the workshops of the artisans, the conceptualisation of new ideas, development of those ideas and the consectutive production in the craft workshops over the course of six months.
The project’s very crucial intention is to spur more applications for this beautiful and energetic material, that is mostly left to be used for decorative items like jewellery and little animals, such as turtles. The collaboration with the artiasans was vibrant and created a huge wealth of new pieces that will continue to provide demand and variety for the handicraft skills of the artisans.
THE MAGIC & MYSTIC OBSIDIAN AND ITS PROPERTIES
The Obsidian is a volcanic glass stone with a hardness of 5 to 5,5. It has been used in ancient Mexico to make knives and mirrors. Looking into Obsidian mirrors showed the reflections of human faces. The Aztecs believed this were the god-like experiences of looking into the past, present and future. Obsidian bears powerful properties for strength, health and wellbeing. It has potent energies, as it bears the elements of fire, water, and earth. Put a stone on your desk to help your creativity flow and remove blockages. Its the stone of truth and can reveal secrets, and it can answer your biggest questions. Its the stone of honesty and can uncover lies. The stone can help ground you, especially when you are on the winning, succeeding avenue. It can make your dreams come true. Things you have been neglecting will become visible. It is a very protective stone that shield off negative energies. The obsidian stone works like a mirror to allow you to see your own faults and weaknesses. The stone helps to direct weaknesses into strengths. Black Obsidian is a powerful cleanser for the smog that builds up in your aura. It will stimulate your foresight.
This display for the show in London has been made possible thanks to ANAHUAC university.
SOME OF THE PROCESS OF WORKING THE OBSIDIAN BY THE ARTISANS IN HIDALGO
ABOUT THE PARTNERS ANAHUAC UNIVERSITY and HIDALGO government - SECRETARY OF CULTURE
Anahuac university and its School of Design is an academic community nationally and internationally recognised. The institution generates, forms and spreads the tendencies in design culture via a pedagogic method that looks at research, the business world, technological developments, cultural institutions and educational trends in Mexico with a personalised educational approach. Design is practiced like an interface that humanizes technology and a social factor that connects the rich local traditions in Mexico with the dimensions of a globalised world.
GOVERMENT OF HIDALGO / SECRETARÍA DE CULTURA
The Government of Hidalgo with its Cultural division has undergone great inititiatives and support of its artisans in fostering and promoting collaborations that help thrive communities. Artisan traditions are manyfold and rich in Hidalgo, and include textiles, ceramics, weaving techniques, metalwork, woodwork, leatherwork, stonework, paperwork and more.