"I've been close to arts and crafts all my life as my father was a tin craftsman from the time he was 15 years old. I started helping him at a young age."
"I'm Jose Manuel Garcia Reyes and my wife is Macrina Gutierrez Gutierrez. We both grew up in great families and we remember our maternal grandmothers. Their homes were where we enjoyed playing with our cousins and friends.
"My wife's grandmother was inspiring and admired. She took care of Macrina from the time she was little and helped her get ahead. In her small hometown of San Miguel, traditions run deep, such as the Day of the Dead, where she made sugar lambs and baskets of lime-flavored skull-shaped cookies to sell. And for Palm Sunday she crafted woven palm figures with flowers, and another of her talents is making piñatas.
"I lived in Mexico City until the age of 5, when we moved to San Miguel de Allende, where I lived for four unforgettable years. It was as though the town was ours with its customs and traditions.
"From the time she was a child, my wife loved arts and crafts, and she loved them even more when they brought us together. We met one day when I took charge of a shop in San Miguel that Macrina's mother rented to my sister. Unfortunately, we eventually had to close it due to a lack of sales.
"In my case, I've been close to arts and crafts all my life as my father was a tin craftsman from the time he was 15 years old. I started helping him at a young age, and when I was 22, Mexico's economic crisis forced me to drop out of college. I decided to work in handicrafts myself. I remember my first designs were tin Christmas tree ornaments, painted by hand. I sold them to a client my father had in Mexico City. Then I began bathing them in copper. The clients ordered some antique-style pieces and they liked my work.
"I have been working for more than 30 years as an artisan and, with my wife's help, we've managed to get ahead. Our technique is traditional handcrafting. Our current designs include decorative items like lantern posts, ceiling panels, candleholders and colonial style lamps. I consider my art to be popular. My inspiration is born in each new style as I create my ideas for people to enjoy.
"Our designs are crafted by hand with excellent quality and the unique touch of Mexican handiwork. With each, Macrina and I show you we are alive."
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