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Workshops

Our multidisciplinary workshops focus on the following areas:

Restoration of colonial art works, reproduction of eighteenth century mirrors, reproduction of contemporary mirrors, word-carving, carpentry, silver- and gold-leaf application, and embroidery.

These workshops have created jobs for the region's young people who, in only two years, have learned important skills – some of which were near extinction – and are now able to reproduce orginal pieces at a high standard of quality.

 

Eighteenth Century Mirrors

If you had entered the Zegache church a short time ago, you would have found approximately 50 mirrors from the eighteenth century, in a state of total disrepair. These mirrors featured a simple, yet beautiful, carving technique using silver and gold. Some mirrors featured two-headed eagle designs, a symbol of the Austrian Empire.

The restoration of these mirrors was the first goal of our restoration workshop, which began work in 2000.

During the restoration process, we discovered documents – some of great historical importance – hidden between the glass and frame of the mirrors.

 

Reproductions

With the goal of making the project self-sustaining, the Community Workshop produces reproductions of nine of these beautiful artifacts.

Antique-style pieces, designs originating from the eighteenth century, the mirror as religious symbol, crafted by indigenous hands: the result is a product not only attractive but with intrinsic historical value.

Sales of these reproductions help defray the workshop's expenses, restoration materials such as: cedar, fine 23.5 carat gold-leaf, fine silver, linen, oil paints, wax, resin, etc., as well as specialized restoration tools.

 

Women Embroiderers Project

Twenty pieces of fabric with an image of a mirror drawn on them were given to Zegache's women embroiderers. The women did the embroidery, then a local tailor converted the finished pieces into pillows, to be offered for sale.

A selection of pillows, the work of five women, will be offered with goal being to continue producing pillows, the sale of which promotes not only the mirrors but the project in general.

 

Once these pieces have been offered for sale, an analysis of production methods will be made to determine which styles of pillows work best for each potential market.

The women sell the finished embroidery to the Zegache Project for 200 pesos, and each pillow costs us 150 pesos to make. The selling price of the pillows is 450 pesos, meaning the Zegache Community Workshops makes 100 pesos from the sale of each pillow.

The goal is to preserve the tradition of embroidery, creating work for the women of the community and including them in the Project.