The Radiance of Tin Art
Tinwork is one of Mexico's oldest crafts. Rooted in Spanish colonial times, tinplate workers manufactured it by dipping thin sheets of iron into molten tin. This coats the iron with a bright, durable surface that is resistant to rusting. Our tin figures are entirely handmade (cutout, punched, embossed and soldered) by craftsmen using great precision and artistic flair. Painted with bright, durable lacquer and enamel colors, tin figures are inexpensive, lightweight and long lasting. In modern Mexico, the two centers of tin smithing are Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende, and we carry products from both cities.
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Our tin refrigerator magnets are handmade in Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Choose from devotional hearts, birds and fish, mermaids and witches colorful skulls and the beautiful face of Frida Kahlo. Brighten up your kitchen with our colorful fridge magnets!
Please take the time to browse our other tin products, including animal figures, birds, Day of Dead, Christmas ornaments and tin stars, nicho frames and Milagro hearts. Use the drop-down menu above, under TIN ART.
The age of tinwork in Mexico goes back at least to the 1700s. Tin was originally manufactured by dipping thin sheets of iron into molten tin to coat them with a bright surface that was durable and highly resistant to rusting. (However, if the surface is scratched, revealing the iron underneath, it will begin to rust if exposed to rain or high humidity.) For an artisan, the appeal of working with tin is its lightness, strength and low cost. It is easily bent, cut and soldered to form intricate shapes.
In eras gone by, Mexicans decorated their homes with tin photo frames, candelabras, lanterns, tin and glass frames (nichos) holding pictures of saints. In humble churches, tin crowns were set on the heads of statues, lit tin lanterns were carried during processions, tin candlesticks adorn the altars.
Tinwork is often referred as the poor man’s silver. In Mexico, every religious and festive object handcrafted in silver has a counterpart in humbler forms made from tinplate. Yet the same degree of skill and passion the silversmiths put into their work could be found in the less opulent pieces made by tinsmiths. Their pieces, too had an alluring shine, that charming brilliance.
These days, tinsmiths in Oaxaca and San Miguel de Allende are carrying on the traditions, making Christmas decorations, tin soldiers, heart-shaped wall plaques and a variety of clever toys. Most of their work is for export to the southern United States, where tinwork is one of the most visible manifestations of Mexican Culture. Most popular with American collectors are the cheerful, flat ornaments, of which we have many here at Viva Oaxaca Folk Art. Take a look and enjoy.
Showing 29–40 of 40 results
Flying Witch Magnet
Size: 4 inches tall
Flying Witch Magnet features a witch with blond hair, black robe and hat, and striped stockings. Handcrafted in San Miguel de Allende.SKU: TN-9_38$3.95 Read more
Heart With Wings Magnet
Size: 3.25 inches wide
Heart With Wings Magnet features a bright red heart with two embossed silver wings. Handcrafted in Oaxaca, Mexico.SKU: TN-9_42$3.50
Heart With Gold Wings Magnet
Size: 2 inches tall
The Heart with Gold Wings Magnet is painted in brilliant colors of red, gold and green. By artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico.SKU: TN-9_41$3.50
Heart with Green Rays Magnet
Size: 1.5 inches across
Heart With Green Rays Magnet features a red heart surrounded by red flowers and green rays.SKU: TN-9_44$3.50
Hand With Hearts Magnet
Size: 2.5 inches tall
The Hand with Hearts Magnet features an open hand with a red heart centered in the palm and tiny hearts around the wrist. Handcrafted in Mexico by the Aquino Family Tinsmiths.SKU: TN-9_45$3.50
Smiling Sun Magnet
Size: 2.25 inches in diameter
Smiling Sun Magnet features a red face framed with yellow and multicolored rays. Handmade in Mexico.SKU: TN-9_46$3.50
Size: 3.5 inches tall
The Rooster Magnet features a brightly hand painted rooster in yellow, red, blue and green. Handmade in San Miguel de Allende.SKU: TN-9_49$3.95
Sacred Heart Magnet
Size: 2.5 inches tall x 1.25 inches wide
The Sacred Heart Magnet decoration features a red heart surrounded by a silver frame and topped by a silver flame. Created by local artisans in Oaxaca, Mexico. Sold by Viva Oaxaca Folk Art.SKU: TN-9_39$3.50
Rainbow Fish Magnet
Size: 1.75 inches long x 1.75 inches high
This Rainbow Fish Magnet is multicolored and handcrafted in Oaxaca, Mexico.SKU: TN-9_50$2.75
Heart with Silver Cross Magnet
Size: 2 inches tall
The Heart with Silver Cross Magnet features a red heart surrounded by a silver embossed frame and topped with a silver cross. Handmade on Oaxaca.SKU: TN-9_29$3.50
Heart & Flower Magnet
Size: 1.75 inches tall by 1.5 inches wide
The Heart & Flower Magnet features a bright red heart and blue flower. Handmade in Oaxaca, Mexico.SKU: TN-9_048$3.50
Heart With Flame Magnet
Size: 1.75 inches tall x 1 inch wide
The Heart With Flame Magnet features a bright red heart with a green and gold flame. Handmade in Oaxaca, Mexico.SKU: TN-9_047$3.50