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Artists of Taxco, Mexico

William Spratling is the man credited for leading the artistic silver renaissance in Mexico in the twentieth century and is commonly referred to as "The Father of Mexican Silver." After several visits to Mexico in the early 1920s, the American architecture professor and writer relocated permanently to Mexico in 1929. He first worked as a promoter for other artists, including securing several international shows for Diego Rivera. Using money from his commissions from sales of Rivera's work, Spratling purchased a home in Taxco and began designing silver jewelry. He found inspiration in pre-Columbian and traditional Mexican motifs and hired goldsmiths to produce his designs locally.

As his reputation grew, so did his workshop and Spratling began taking on apprentices to study both the design and craftmanship of silver. Some of the Taxco silversmiths that worked for Spratling in his Taller de Las Delicias shop in Taxco include Hector Aguiliar, members of the Los Castillo family and Antonio Pineda.

Los Castillo combined the talents of four brothers of the Castillo family along with Margot van Voorhies Carr, professionally known as Margot de Taxco, who was married to Antonio Castillo. Brothers Antonio, Jorge, Miguel, and Justo began their silver crafting studies in William Spratling's Taller de las Delicias. In 1939 they left to open their own silver shop and with the move began incorporating their own creativity into their designs. The tradition of silversmithing was passed to their descendants to carry on the family business, which still produces silver and other crafts work in Taxco.  Jewelry crafted by the Los Castillo brothers is rich with movement in its shapes and shadows. Their pieces often represent a moving animal or an object that includes flowing shapes. Many of their pieces were experiments of inlays, feathers and combined metals.

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