One of our best-selling items from Mexico has to be our colourful, ceramic skulls. When we opened the shop four years ago, there was only a niche interest in Mexican art and traditions, but even in those few short years the fascination with these creations has skyrocketed. Pop culture has embraced the "Day of the Dead" celebrations, with films like "The Book of Life" and "Spectre" all increasing the buzz. We always try to bring some skulls back from Mexico, and these are among the best we've ever had.
They were made by Reynaldo, an artist working in Cuernavaca. We have bought skulls from Reynaldo before, although they were glazed whereas this batch has a matt finish. He moulds the skulls from balls of clay, fires them, and then hand paints them.
We sell the skulls as ornaments and curiosities, though it's important to note they are not really a "touristy" item - they are definitely the kind of thing you would see in a Mexican home. Mexicans have (in general) a different attitude to mortality than we do here in the UK - life is seen as more ephemeral, but definitely something to be enjoyed and celebrated. When death comes, the focus is on positive, uplifting events rather than gloomy, downbeat funerals. This can be jarring to our eyes, but there's certainly an argument it's a healthier way of looking at life.
We always love to see the skulls going to a new home. Each one is unique, and we always sell out quickly. We'll be trying to source another batch in time for the autumn.