For the second post in my ‘Mexican Artisan Spotlight Series,’ I’m introducing you to Maritza Morillas. She is a painter and enamellist from Mexico City who has exhibited in Washington, Barcelona, Chicago, Brooklyn and of course, all over Mexico. Her badass kitchenware blew us away, and we *might’ve* bought most of it within minutes of seeing it….
We met Maritza on the same day we met Giovanni of my previous Steampunk Accessories post (if you haven’t read that one, check it out!). I’d dragged Evan to the artisan’s market knowing he wasn’t that interested in watching me purchase jewelry and girly knickknacks, but I wanted his company. Plus, he has great tastes and knows when something is not a good purchase.
To his and my great surprise, he saw Maritza’s booth and was intrigued. Evan doesn’t usually spend a lot on himself, especially here in Mexico, so when he saw these pieces and said, “Now this is what we’ve got to bring home with us,” I took our purchase seriously. We owed ourselves an engagement gift anyways, right?!
Sure, I’ve seen commercial items before that have tried this idea of taking vintage images and putting them on everyday items – but nothing has ever been as well-executed, creative and beautifully crafted as these pieces. I can’t help but think everyone else is just trying to be like Maritza. These pieces are truly original, truly irreverent, truly punk, truly handmade and truly thoughtful.
So what did we buy? We chose to purchase a small dining set for casual and intimate dinner parties. This included 4 dinner plates and small plates, 4 mugs and coasters, 4 spoons, a coffee carafe, 2 serving bowls and 2 serving spoons. I cannot WAIT to have our first set of guests over when we return to the US!
The kitchenware is made of metal and covered in enamel, which is a glass overlay fired at very high heat in a kiln. The finish is solid enough to be dishwasher safe, too. My favorite touch is that some pieces with a heart on them have red enamel siding – like renegade dishes in your otherwise harmonious black and white set.
We fell so in love with Maritza’s creations that we came back to the artisan’s market the next day to buy a gift for our friend Lindsay’s birthday – these little mezcal sipping cups were a perfect present for her. Plus, we got to see Maritza again. She is gracious and friendly, and has this lovely smile!
Here are links to both of Maritza’s Facebook pages – one for her paintings: Maritza Morillas Pintora, and one for her fired glass-on-metal work: Esmalte Morillas – and here is a link to her blog, Esmalte Maritza Morillas. Check out these sites, and don’t hesitate to contact her and to spend your money – it will be well spent on high-quality, handmade goods.
And here’s a travel tip and fun fact – if you enter an artisan’s market and start to buy things, you’ll notice that table suddenly attracting all the other tourists at that market. It sounds silly, but as soon as people saw Evan and I choosing items to purchase, they flocked to Maritza’s booth to gobble up her other pieces. Thank goodness we got there first so that we didn’t miss out. Here are some pics from the market itself!
Thank you for reading, and I hope you’ll check out Maritza Morillas’ badass kitchenware and continue to check out my Mexican artisan spotlight series! More goodies to come!