[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="850"]From the mask making studio of Alicia Martinez Alvarez. My mentor's mask making studio in the heart of Mexico City.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_9033" align="aligncenter" width="850"]Picture of one of Teotihuacan's pyramids in Mexico. Our day at Teotihuacan. How can one not be inspired in this place!?[/caption]   I am often asked when I first got the inspiration for betsy & iya. I often reply, "Mexico City." The vibrant life and culture (literally, in color and also in spirit) paired with a strong maker community made it a personal breeding ground for inspiration. For the entire time I lived there, I was completely immersed in the creative community that thrives there. At the time, my focus was mask making and mask performance work. Yesterday, I spend most of the day at the library, gathering ideas and inspiration for a new collection. Most of the books I chose were connected to Mexico in some way or another. After about an hour flipping through, I came across a section dedicated to a master mask maker from Veracruz. After reading further, it occurred to me that I had met this man--I spent time in his beautiful studio, watching him work. I had the pleasure of visiting many mask studios while we were there. Their wood work fascinated and inspired me so much. This realization kind of blew me away. It felt like a sign, like wherever this inspiration leads, I'm in the right place.   [caption id="attachment_9037" align="aligncenter" width="850"]The working hands of a master tradition wooden mask maker in Veracruz. He signs my mask.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_9034" align="aligncenter" width="850"]Multiple Mexico masks, old and new, hang on the walls and on the shelves of Alicia Martinez Alvarez's home in Mexico City. Old and new traditional Mexican masks in the beautiful home of Alicia Martinez Alvarez.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_9036" align="aligncenter" width="850"]Mexican mask maker holding up a traditional Mexican mask. The joy of this mask maker touches my heart![/caption]   [caption id="attachment_9024" align="aligncenter" width="850"]An ink drawing of Alicia in Mexico. A drawing I did of Alicia while we lived in Mexico.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_9025" align="aligncenter" width="525"]A picture from inside Lino Mora Rivera's wood working studio. Inside the studio of well-known Veracruz mask maker, Lino Mora Rivera.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_9027" align="aligncenter" width="523"]A picture in a book of Lino Mora Rivera. I discovered his photo in this book at the library yesterday. I've been in his studio in Veracruz.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_9030" align="aligncenter" width="591"]Baskets hang on a bright blue wall in Mexico. Mask making day in Mexico in the outside bright and sunny studio.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_9029" align="aligncenter" width="525"]In proces mask making in Mexico. A mold of my head and the start of my mask[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_9028" align="aligncenter" width="523"]A colorful Mexican necklace and earrings lay side by side. Margot van Voorhies Carr inspiring work.[/caption]
[caption id="attachment_9026" align="aligncenter" width="523"]Colorful Mexican tile This color! The feeling! Gah! Mexico, I love you.[/caption]   [caption id="attachment_9038" align="aligncenter" width="523"]Library books laid out on a sunny windowsill. Gathering inspiration at the library.[/caption]   As I mentioned on instagram yesterday, I cannot WAIT to get my hands dirty. Thank you for the inspiration and kick in my butt, Mexico. I miss you. xo~betsy ***Song of the Moment: Impressions, by Danilo Perez***  

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