Thursday, November 1, 2012

Day of the Dead - Día de los Muertos

Sugar Skull enameled copper pendant, sugar beads, watercolor silk
ribbon, gunmetal chain and accent beads

Meaning of the Day of the Dead from Wikipedia:
Day of the Dead (Spanish: Día de los Muertos) is a Mexican holiday celebrated throughout Mexico and around the world in other cultures. The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. It is particularly celebrated in Mexico, where it is a national holiday, and all banks are closed. The celebration takes place on November 1, in connection with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day (November 2). Traditions connected with the holiday include building private altars honoring the deceased using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed and visiting graves with these as gifts. They also leave possessions of the deceased.
Scholars trace the origins of the modern Mexican holiday to indigenous observances dating back hundreds of years and to an Aztec festival dedicated to the goddess Mictecacihuatl. The holiday has spread throughout the world: In Brazil, Dia de Finados is a public holiday that many Brazilians celebrate by visiting cemeteries and churches. In Spain, there are festivals and parades, and, at the end of the day, people gather at cemeteries and pray for their dead loved ones. Similar observances occur elsewhere in Europe, and similarly themed celebrations appear in many Asian and African cultures.

Sugar Skull plate to be enameled
  I thought I would share a little bit of the history of the Day of the Dead.  A few years ago mom sawed out the above pendant and I at first thought it was pretty creepy.  But once I enameled the pendant I fell in love with it.  I read up a bit on the Day of the Dead and found out about the traditions that go along with the holiday - I loved the idea of the sugar candy so I made up some of my "Sugar Beads".  I wanted to create a necklace that had the sugar skull and sugar beads together.  This necklace sold at its first show and let me tell you it was very hard to give it up.

Well, mom found an idea for a sugar skull plate she wanted to saw out.  Because of her neck and other health issues we didn't get it finished sawed out, filed and sanded until Sunday.  And after the awful enameling session I had on Sunday I was not going to try and enamel this piece.  Mom and I did want to try and get it done before today but it didn't happen - so I am sharing what did get done. I am soooo looking forward to enameling this piece.

Have a wonderful Day of the Dead and All Saints Day everyone!


  1. What a unique take on the skull design for Day of the Dead! I don't think I could have parted with this one, it's so your work!

  2. YOu know I love yours an Evie's amazing skills and this is no exception! Your sugar beads are divine and need to be in my stash!!!! We so have to chat!

  3. My husband an I attend an annual Day of the Dead celebration in Atlanta. It's a lively celerbation to honor those how have passed before us. Music, dancing, and fabulous food. Hand decorated sugar skulls are given out at the end of the evening. It's a wonderful way to celebrate the lives of those we love.Thanks for sharing the history. Cheers!
    Lori in Atlanta

  4. Look at that mouth on the first one...holy cow that is amazing!!!!! Lve your sugar beads with it too...sugar beads are some of my favorite beads to use! i cannot wait to see the "unfinished" skull enameled...look at that detail! And thanks for the history kesson, too!

    On another note, your blog post...which I am reading at 9:15pm--- has reminded me that I missed taking my Mom to church tonight on this Holy Day of Obligation. My mom moved in with me two years ago, and we NEVER miss Mass. But, I have had bad back and kneee flare ups this week and can barely walk. But, oh the guilt! mom said not to worry, but I feel like the world's worst daughter!

    Have a great weekend!


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