Greetings dear tree friends
Hallow’s Eve or Samhain or Day of The Dead is coming close. This Wednesday to be precise. As nature starts her rest it is time for all of us to honor our ancestors and past. A time to look back and think of all the things we ve gained, all the lessons we learned from our experiences and all of the people that have been an inspiration to our lives.
All cultures have their own traditions and today we will be talking about one, since the opportunity arises with today’s featured item.
The Day Of The Dead is a holiday celebrated in central and southern Mexico during the chilly days of November 1 & 2. It is believed that the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31, and the spirits of all deceased children (angelitos) are allowed to reunite with their families for 24 hours. On November 2, the spirits of the adults come down to enjoy the festivities that are prepared for them.
In most villages, beautiful altars (ofrendas) are made in each home. They are decorated with candles, buckets of flowers (wild marigolds called cempasuchil & bright red cock’s combs) mounds of fruit, peanuts, plates of turkey mole, stacks of tortillas and big Day-of-the-Dead breads called pan de muerto. The altar needs to have lots of food, bottles of soda, hot cocoa and water for the weary spirits. Toys and candies are left for the angelitos, and on Nov. 2, cigarettes and shots of mezcal are offered to the adult spirits. Little folk art skeletons and sugar skulls, purchased at open-air markets, provide the final touches.
Sugar art was brought to the New World by Italian missionaries in the 17th century. The first Church mention of sugar art was from Palermo at Easter time when little sugar lambs and angels were made to adorn the side altars in the Catholic Church.
Mexico, abundant in sugar production and too poor to buy fancy imported European church decorations, learned quickly from the friars how to make sugar art for their religious festivals. Clay molded sugar figures of angels, sheep and sugar skulls go back to the Colonial Period 18th century. Sugar skulls represented a departed soul, had the name written on the forehead and was placed on the home ofrenda or gravestone to honor the return of a particular spirit. Sugar skull art reflects the folk art style of big happy smiles, colorful icing and sparkly tin and glittery adornments. Sugar skulls are labor intensive and made in very small batches in the homes of sugar skull makers. These wonderful artisans are disappearing as fabricated and imported candy skulls take their place.
Today’s feature as you might have guessed is a sugar scull. The artist behind it is Suzy Taylor, a very talented woman, who makes amazing things with the paper cutting technique. She is a self taught artist living in Hertfordshire, UK. Her work is inspired by by traditional Folk Art themes, such as rural life, people and nature.
Her sugar scull as well as the rest of her items is totally handmade and hand cut from a single piece of paper.
You can check Suzy’s work at:
A big thanks to you all that keep visiting this place 🙂 A big thanks to Suzy for letting me feature her work on my blog.
This is the grand finale of the Halloween top 10. I enjoyed writing about the work of fellow crafters so much and I hope you enjoyed reading and getting to know these wonderful people and their work 🙂
For the previous entries please click here
Have a wonderful day
Many hugs to all of you xx