Hands on-Mexican Arts and Crafts

Workshops offered by teaching artist Nelda Reyes.

“Corn Husk - Hojas de maíz” 
In these Hands-on workshops, participants learn how ancient cultures are inspired by nature to make their arts  and crafts as well as the importance of corn in Mexican native cultures.

Workshop #1 “Corn Husk Figurines ”: Participants craft their own figurine made out of corn husk and decorate them. They can choose to make Aztec gods or their own doll creation.  

Workshop #2 “Corn Husk Flowers”: Participants craft their own flowers made out of corn husk and decorate them. Seasonal Marigold flowers are made for Day of the Death celebrations and altars and Poinsettias for Nativity and Christmas  Seasons.  
Workshop #3 “Corn Husk Puppets”: Participants craft their own puppets made out of corn husk and decorate them. Participants can choose to make a finger or a pencil puppet of their own creation.

Why corn?...For the Aztec or Mexica cosmogony, corn is the element that sustains the world and the essence of all creation; it was of corn that the first gods were made of and after them all the world as we know it right now. Many native cultures around the world share this connection with this malleable element.
Materials fot these workshops include corn husks, corn silks, rice, craft sticks and non-toxic acrylic paint.

“Sugar Skulls- Calaveritas de azúcar” 
In this seasonal  hands-on workshop, students will learn about the Day of the Death celebration and its traditions , includying the meaning  of altars  and  the special place sugar skulls have in honoring our ancestors. Participants  will mold and paint their own edible  sugar skull  with edible color paste and named it after some ancestor or beloved person. 

 Why sugar?...Throughout Mexico, Day of the Death is a celebration of joyfull remembrance the sugar reminds us of joy. Sugar skulls are supposed to be eaten by live and deceased: it is believed that if a skull is put on the altar, the death’s sould will come and eat it, if you offer it to a beloved person, then they are supposed to eat it too!

“My Piñata-Mi Piñata” 
In this hands-on workshop, students will learn about the Mexican Piñata tradition, its meaning and its role in other Mexican celebrations. Participants  will craft their own  piñata  in the traditional form, with cardboard and glue made out of flour and water and decorate them with color paper shaped in various  forms. Finally they will learn the traditional piñata song and lyrics. 
Specific approach to the subject can be done depending on the season: Why  is the Piñata used for the Posadas and what is its meaning?, Why the Piñata  used to celebrate birthdays? And why on  May 5th and September 16th?

  “Sugar Christmas Ornaments- Adornos Navideños de Azúcar”
In this seasonal  hands-on workshop, students will learn about the Mexican Christmans celebration and  traditions , includying the meaning  of  the trees and nativity scenes. Participants  will paint their own edible  sugar ornament  and get it ready to hang up on their christmans trees or put in their Nativity scenes.

Length of Programs:

Workshop session: 90-120 min.

Ages: Appropiate for school grades 2 through 12, teens, adults and seniors.

Max. Audience: 22

Travel Range: All over U.S.

Seasonal Availability: Year round

Last Update June 2016. Designed by GCG