This is the HOME PAGE. Welcome to the Delgado Arts blog! My family, the Delgado family, has been practicing the traditional Spanish Colonial Arts for 5 generations. The Spanish Colonial Arts are the traditional regional folk arts that originated from the Spanish conquistadors that settled in the Northern New Mexico area. As they settled into more permanent living quarters, they began to long for the evocative iconography of their Spanish homeland, tinged with the colors of their Mexican route. but, the harsh pioneer landscape did not allow for the refined renaissance products they were used to. So, the industrious artisans used the tools and materials available to them to recreate reflections of the functional and decorative items of their memory.
These arts have been handed down through the generations and have become distinct crafts. Some of the broad categories include pottery, weaving, painting, metalworking and carving.
A Tinsmith is one who works with tin, manipulating the two-dimensional sheets through cutting, stamping, hammering, scoring and soldering to make utilitarian and decorative pieces. This is referred to as Tinwork.
A Santero/Santera is one who represents the Spanish religious icons by carving, preparing and often painting wood. The representations may be dimensional (Bultos) or flat boards (Retablos).
We are descendants of the original conquistadors. We grew up in Santa Fe, but my brother Jason and I both reside separately in Albuquerque at present. My brother is a 5th generation tinsmith (pictured above with our Grandmother), studying under our grandmother, Angelina Delgado. She was taught by her father, Ildeberto who was in turn taught by the great Francisco Delgado. I am a practicing Santera (pictured right with Grandmother). Although both my brother and I were not born with Delgado last names, we have chosen to add it to our work to recognize and honor our forefathers in handing us this very special gift and to help us tell the story of our connection with these traditions.
Although I have been painting Saints for many years, it wasn’t until recently when I had children of my own that I could really appreciate our family heritage and grasp the importance of salvaging our family legacy. I consider myself as just beginning my apprenticeship as a Santera and have been blogging about it on my other crafting and design site. But, now that it is becoming more central in my life and has been such a big part of my family, it made sense to give the topic its own dedicated site.
I plan to keep this site as a log of my journey to developing as a Santera, as a place to track the other Delgado artisanal stories, like my brother’s and as a place to share information about and passion for the Spanish Colonial Arts in the hopes that I might be a positive part of supporting this endangered tradition.
Thank you for taking an interest in our story.