"I especially like diamond motifs, as they represent a kind of maguey coat of arms seen at Monte Albán. They exemplify my Zapotec heritage."
"Hola! My name is Alberto Ruiz García and I'm from a town in Oaxaca dedicated to weaving. I am the fourth generation of my family to practice this craft. I remember as a child I watched my father working on the loom while my mother and grandmother carded and dyed the wool so that the men could weave it.
"First the sheep are sheared, and this is done twice a year. We pick out any twigs and burrs and wash the fleece. Then we card it with two large wire brushes so that it is soft and can be worked on a wooden spinning wheel. We wash it with amole, a plant that grows in the sierra. It releases a lot of foam, and in this way the wool doesn't lose its purity. If we washed it with commercial soaps, the wool would lose its shine and wouldn't absorb the natural dyes as well. This removes the impurities and natural grease. We then spin it and dye it with tints from the cochineal insect, pomegranate peel, bark from the huajal tree that thrives here, as well as oak and pecan bark. Stones, dried flowers, almost all the rocks and flowers here yield natural colors.
"To achieve the dyes, we soak the materials in a big pot of water and let it sit at least a month. Then we set it on the fire to boil. We immerse the hanks of yarn for half an hour and then we take them out to dry. The wool is washed once more to fix the colors.
"The long, narrow bobbins we use are made of reed, and we wind the yarn on them to weave it. We first warp the handloom, and then we begin to weave the rug. Depending on the size, it can take a long time to finish. A small rug can be made in two or three days, but a large one can take six weeks to weave.
"My wife and I work together in our home. We help each other, and in this way we can finish our rugs sooner. I especially like diamond motifs, as they represent a kind of maguey coat of arms seen at Monte Albán. They exemplify my Zapotec heritage."
Ricardo Hinojosa caters to the needs of the experienced world traveler with this stunning bag. Tooled of quality leather with a weathered finish, the travel bag has two front pockets as well as a compartment on the back. There is one zipper pocket and....read more
Crafted of honey brown leather, this hobo bag by Ricardo Hinojosa features three roomy compartments. The central one closes with a zipper, while the other two snap to each other with a magnetic button.
Designed for a 13" laptop, this briefcase is as handsome as it is practical. Ricardo Hinojosa includes multiple pockets in his design, including a zipper one inside, opposite to the laptop in the lined interior. Outside there's a larger zipper pocket....read more
This classic black leather shoulder bag, adorned with bronze studs, is both stylish and functional. By Ricardo Hinojosa, its exterior has two small pockets and the spacious interior has both a zippered compartment and two open pouches. A black and white....read more
COLLECTIONS FEATURING Mexican Shoulder Bags
Mexican Shoulder Bags
More than a mere accessory, a bag reveals something about the craftsman that stitched it, engraved it, or shaped it. These shoulder bags maintain their connection to Mexico through the raw materials that were used to create them and the designers who have impressed their artistic vision upon them. This relationship between artisan and material is expressed in each unique handbag. Some use natural dyes drawn from the leaves and bark of local trees. Others construct them by sewing together individual pieces of leather. As one of our designers, Eduardo Alcala, explains it, “it’s the leather itself that suggests the bag’s shape.” And through his work, Alcala celebrates the natural cycle of life and death. This originality is part of what makes NOVICA’s Mexican Shoulder Bag collection so inspiring. We hope you enjoy each of these bags!
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This item is available for backorder and will ship within 2 to 8 weeks. Artists love to get backorders. Placing a backorder ensures that the artisan will do their best to create and deliver your item to our local office for shipment.
Although we cannot guarantee availability, we do expect to be able to fill the order within the timeframe indicated. But sometimes life happens - special materials may not be immediately available to the artist, or there might be some other circumstance beyond our control that could delay the shipment.
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This item has a special shipping flat fee which means that due to bulk, duties, or other special requirements, the item will be shipped to you via one of our special one-rate services. Shipping is only available to the United States (lower 48 States only).
Many of our gift items come with free gift packaging. Check the product detail page to see if this applies to your item. Each region has it's own flavor of gift wrap, using motifs or materials specific to the country they are from.
Every jewelry item comes with a free gift pouch, each with a unique regional twist.