Artistic Ironwork | Mexico | Living in Mexico

Artistic Ironwork

I love Mexico's small businesses. San Miguel has hundreds, and our town is typical. These places are proprietor-run.

You don't have to put up with disinterested employees like those robotically dishing out Starbucks coffee or Benetton sweaters. Here, you deal with the owner, and you know you're getting the absolute best he has to offer, from a man who is dedicating his life to his enterprise.

Here is an example: a blacksmith's shop.


The black oval sign hanging over the door announces that the shop is a herreria (smithy) and that the blacksmith makes rótulos (signs).

What caught my eye, though, was the A-frame sign on the street.


This is unrestrained ebullience, unfettered by convention.

You'll never find that font at Adobe. The owner wanted maximally decorative lettering and that's what he got. He didn't get readability, and he clearly wasn't looking for it.

An ad agency would have trimmed his sails. It would have stressed getting his message through to the customer. Easy-to-read lettering. A catchy slogan. A look designed with a future possibility of franchising.

This blacksmith answers to a higher call. What good is his smithy if it only focuses on sales? This guy wants more than just a place to make money. His soul yearns for self-expression. His business is his medium.

He has a dream, and he's following it. How many of us can say the same?