Taller de Obsidiana is not only a workshop, but a potential design studio that transforms different stones (obsidian stone mainly) into gorgeous jewelry, an iPhone case, an USB and beyond.
Even though they have their own products, they take personal design projects from all over the globe. If my memory doesn´t fail, their last task was a gigantic obsidian mirror for an astronomer.
Me and two friends had the opportunity to have a 6 hours workshop where we learned about the 12 types of obsidian stone (golden, silver, green, brown, rainbow/mantohuichol, purple, etc), it´s hardness, how to get it from the mines, how is manipulated and finally with all the wisdom and supervision, we made a pendant and a figure to use as jewelry.
Obviously, I took some pictures of the place, the stones, the design process and the production of our pieces. Have a look, learn about this volcanic stone and the hands that shape it.
The Place: San Juan Teotihuacán
Their workshop is located near Teotihuacán where the Aztec civilization was developed.What We Learned
Even though this workshop is in Teotihuacán, near Popocatepetl volcano (unpronounceable for foreigners) the best places to find this stone are La Lobera in Guadalajara and Pachuca. This is because most of the mineral is under the soil and has an excellent quality.
Fragile and sharp, Obsidiana is a glass composed of silicates (atoms in constant movement) that needs not to have drastic temperature changes or else it can easily break. For this reason it is better to extract the stone in a profundity of 4 meters (13ft) or more where there´s no sun´s heat.
First of all is cutting the stone into different grosor of laminates in the gigantic cutter you saw at the beginning of the post. Then, make a smaller piece depending on the size of your design.
The workshop tries to use the most material as possible, so we took some waste material for making our templates of resin and small pieces of obsidian stone left in the ground. According to Mohe´s table, the stone has a hardness of 5.5 and the rock crystal has from 7 to 8. Any stone needs to be cut with diamond thread machinery.This is because diamonds are the hardest and prettiest minerals (also girl´s best friends).