Posts Tagged ‘fair trade’

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


pinterest-logo-2-1074x1067 facebook

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


pinterest-logo-2-1074x1067 facebook

Fair Trade at Coast Hwy Traders

At Coast Hwy Traders we try to buy as much fair trade as possible. That means we buy from women’s co-ops, local artists, etc. at fair market value. For example when I am in Mexico at the market in Tonala, I do not bargain. YES  I will say it again , I do not ask for a discount for my volume buys.Why because the art is so inexpensive and they are making around $5.00 an hour to make it.  I was in Peru and bargained a women down on a beautiful tapestry. I have always felt guilty about it, because that dollar or two I saved would have meant so much to her. I do not ask artist for discounts. After all this is their livelihood.

Below are pictures of items I purchased at the Tonala market in Mexico from local artists for the store. I did not bargain!

fair trade 3

fair trade 2

fair trade 1

bev section 2