Posts Tagged ‘artisans of Mexico’

La Catrina an Icon of the Day of the Dead

La Catrina and Icon of the Day of the Dead

Posada2.CatrinaLa Calaveras Catrina by Jose Guadalupe Posada

Jose Guadalupe Posada created the lovely and timeless La Calaveras Catrina (The Catrina Skull) or just La Catrina. Posada was a Mexican revolutionary graphic artist in the late 19th-20th centuries. La Catrina has the European style ornate hat that was popular among the upper classes in the late 19th century. Many of the indigenous women of the time were so influenced by the European styles they started not wearing their traditional clothes and even wore makeup to make their skin look lighter. La Catrina was Posadas reminder to all that regardless of class or stature death equalizes everyone in the end.


katrinas chtLa Catrinas made of paper mache at Coast Hwy Traders


The La Catrina is made from all kinds of materials including clay, wood, and paper mache (cartoneria). She is a prominent figure in Day of the Dead celebrations. She is featured in Day of the Dead altars, decorations, including large paper mache skeletons imitating the living.

Posada’s La Catrina has become the image of Death in Mexico and icon of the Day of the Dead celebrations.

ss pic skeletonsLa Catrina Statue

katrinas cht 2

weddingWedding Day La Catrina

holiday catrinaThe Coast Hwy Traders Mascot…La Catrina


La Catrinas at Coast Hwy Traders

table at coast



Coast Hwy Traders

530 S Coast Hwy 101

Encinitas Ca


Popotillo Art…..Straw Art

Popotillo Art…Straw Art


straw paintings


Popotillo (little straw) is the craft of creating colorful images using the thin stalks of various grasses. 

This beautiful craft is labor intensive. An 8×10 image can take 2 or 3 days, depending on the complexity and all the space that must be covered in straw.

The use of the hands, or in the case of very tiny pieces, tweezers to place the bits of colored lines has not changed, but there has been some modernization. Traditionally, the straw or grass is collected, dried and colored either by the crafts person. Originally, vegetable dyes were used and straw colored this way still can be found, but most are now colored using aniline dyes, as the color lasts longer.

The straw pieces are applied on paper, poster board or other surfaces, not by cutting the straw first, but rather applying the straw and snapping it where the artisan wants the line to end. The traditional adhesive is beeswax or Campeche wax, but other glues are sometimes used. After the image is completed, it is usually coated to make it shine. In the past, this was done using egg whites, but today commercial varnish is used.

Popotillo crafts are truly works of art and can be admired and purchased at Coast Hwy Traders.


straw art

Coast Hwy Traders

530 S Coast Hwy 101

Encinitas Ca


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The Story of the Tree of life , Arbol de la Vida

The Story of  the Tree of Life, Arbol de la Vida

 tree of life copy

The Tree of Life (Arbol de la Vida) is a clay folk art sculpture from Central Mexico that started in the colonial period.

After the Conquest, the Spanish destroyed religious figures and replaced them with Christian iconography. The original purpose of the Trees of Life was evangelical, specifically the story of Adam and Eve. A reminder of original sin.

Trees of Life are a traditional wedding gift because of the relation to the first human couple (Adam and Eve). They are also considered to be a talisman for the couple for fertility.

As mentioned above, the traditional Trees of Life are based on the first couple, Adam and Eve. You will see many trees of life with images of the couple, usually naked except for fig leaves. The couple is positioned at the base of the tree and often a snake can been seen.

Many variations of the traditional Trees of Life can be found. For instance, a tree of life from Metepec will branch out like a real tree and a tree from Puebla will be more stylized with branches bending inward onto the body of the tree.

Themes of the Trees can vary depending on the artisan. Themes can range from the four seasons, death, chocolate, local dances and food.

Whichever style you choose or prefer they are remarkable symbols of the Mexican heritage created by talented local artisans.


Coast Hwy Traders a Fair Trade Buyer

Coast Hwy Traders purchases all there Trees of Life from Mexico handmade by local artisans. Coast Hwy Traders is a responsible fair-trade buyer.

This Fabulous tree of life is $175.00 and is available at Coast Hwy Traders


fabulous trees of life



Coast Hwy Traders

530 S Coast Hwy 101

Encinitas Ca


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Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato church

Mexican Pottery, History, Shrimp Ice Cream….Dolores Hidalgo


The town of Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato is best known as the “cradle” of the Mexican War of Independence. On September 15th, Father Miguel Hidalgo rang the bell to call the people to arms against Spanish rule.

Today, Dolores Hidalgo is one of the largest ceramic producers in the country. The city producers a style of multi-colored glazed pottery.

Dolores Hidalgo products are made of a local mix of black, white and red clays from abundant local deposits. The designs used for the pottery have been passed down thru the generations.

You can find dishes, water dispensers, tiles, table tops, sinks, jars, picture and mirror frames and so much more.

This city is full of beautiful Mexican pottery plus Mexican history and a unique idea cream shop full of unique flavors like Queso, Mexican fruits like mango or how about shrimp?


Dolores Hidalgo, Guanajuato pottery


Coast Hwy Traders

530 S Coast Hwy 101

Encinitas Ca


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The Home of the Tree of Life’s

Izucar De Matamoros, Mexico is the home of the Traditional Mexican Pottery, The Tree of Life




Izucar De Matamoros, Mexico is where the Mexican pottery, the Tree of life’s are made. The city is thought of as the “Home” of the Tree of Life’s. On Bev’s latest trip to Mexico she visited Izucar. Bev has collected tree of life’s for over 25 years so her trip to Izucar was very exciting. She buys a lot of Day of the Dead merchandise from this particular workshop. The craftsmanship and attention to detail by the workers is amazing. Even the children are able to earn extra money after school by helping at the workshop.

It was great to see the young people learning this traditional craft!











Coast Hwy Traders

530 S Coast Hwy 101

Encinitas Ca


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Shop Small Business Saturday



This Saturday, November 26th is small business Saturday.

Come shop small and support local at Coast Hwy Traders.

We have a wide selection of handmade one of a kind gifts made by local artisans.

Shop Outside the Box this holiday and shop small at 
Coast Hwy Traders

We hope to see you on Saturday, 11/26!


Free Boat House Poster or local postcard
with every purchase on
Shop Small Saturday, Nov 26th


holidays-at-chtHolidays at Coast Hwy Traders



holiday-jewelryHoliday Jewelry



holiday-flowersHoliday Flowers




embossed-picturesEmbossed Pictures



dream-catcherDream Catchers

Local Business Coast Hwy Traders is Turning 21!


An Iconic Downtown Business Celebrates 21 Years.

Local business Coast Hwy Traders Supports local Artists/Fair Trade

Coast hwy Traders

Coast Hwy Traders is thrilled to be celebrating their 21 first birthday on Saturday, October 22 2016 at noon. We will be celebrating with Mexican Food, Music and door prizes.

Coast Hwy Traders was founded in October 1996 by owner Beverly Goodman as a venue for local artists,fun imports,and unique items. Coast Hwy Traders supports Fair trade buying and they support local charities like an orphanage in Mexico and a children’s foundation in Nepal.

Owner Beverly Goodman has been traveling to Mexico for over twenty years meeting local artists and importing their goods. She first met Moises Rodriquez when he was a young father with two small children. He was living and working in a small village outside TONALA,Mexico. Moises family counted on Bev’s visits to help support him and his family. Moises is now a well known artist. Buying from him was easy as his work is beautiful. Today his children are grown and married. Their room is now a gallery for his art. This is a story repeated many times by the unique art at Coast Hwy Traders.

Coast Hwy Traders also has the largest collection of Day of the Dead merchandise in Southern California.



Artist Moises Rodriquez and his handmade pottery






Coast Hwy Traders

530 S Coast Hwy 101

Encinitas Ca


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Mexican Folk Art

 skeleton plateDay of the Dead (skeleton plate)


With the iconic Folk Tree Import store closing this month, their is one less store to buy unique authentic Mexican Folk Art. It is also a loss for all the artists Rocky (the owner) bought from. Coast Hwy Traders will do our best to take up the slack. We certainly have wonderful authentic pieces from Mexican artists. Many of which are one kind items. We are always happy to E-mail you pictures so you can shop from afar.

Just tell us what you are looking for!



ss pic statueMexican Pottery


Tree of lifeColorful Tree of Life


grand master pottery copyGrand Master Pottery from Mexico


Mexican pottery copyMexican Folk Art Pottery


Mexican pottery 3Pottery by Mexican Artists



Coast Hwy Traders

530 S Coast Hwy 101

Encinitas Ca


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Importing from Mexico

Shopping in TONALA today


People often come in with items they bought on a trip and want to import. Well my items from my last trip are still in TJ where they have been for four weeks. What makes delays. Well there is a lot of paperwork to do. You have to have receipts for everything you buy. So all those fun one of a kind items I buy at the market in Tonala they need their own receipt. All this information then goes to a broker.

My conversation today with broker….Broker, “we need a copy of your signature.” Okay.

Second call, “You signed your name, we need it printed too”…and so it goes.

The good news is that the items will arrive this week.


Bev shopping trip 2



Coast Hwy Traders

530 S Coast Hwy 101

Encinitas Ca


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Day of the Dead Altars and their Meanings


Mexican Altars are used as a way to remember or honor a family member or loved one, a special saint, or a special time or remembrance. Altars have been apart of the Mexican culture since Cortez and his Spanish troops came to Mexico. The altars can be made from wood, paper or an old cigar box. They are colorful, inspirational, religious, or just plain fun.

Altars play a huge part in the Day of the Dead celebrations. As part of the Day of the Dead celebration it is believed that the dead are allowed to return to Earth. The altars are made to help guide the spirits of the dead to the homes of  the loved ones. The sweet smell of flowers, the candle light and the colors of the altar all help to guide the spirit home!




That is why the altars are filled with brightly colored marigolds. Colorful decorations, like Papel Picados and blankets. Tons of food, sweets, and drinks are also laid out on the altars. The altars are also filled with incense and candles. Mementos of the deceased loved one is also placed on the altars. Like pictures, their favorite piece of clothing, their favorite foods etc.  All these altars are true works of art!

Coast Hwy Traders has Day of the Dead candles, colorful papel picados, Day of the Dead statues, crafts and much more. Come in to a local small business and purchase all your “Real” Day of the Dead merchandise from artists and not Box Stores!!

Below is a great picture of the altar and the meanings behind each item…..






Coast Hwy Traders

530 S Coast Hwy 101

Encinitas Ca


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