Mexican Silver

The city of Taxco de Alarcón, referred to as simply Taxco, is a small Mexican city in the state of Guerrero.  For generations, Taxco was a silver mining town but had no native silver-working industry until the 1930s.

In 1929, an American architecture professor, named William Spratling, moved to Taxco.  In 1931, Spratling opened his own workshop in Taxco, named Taller de las Delicias.  He hired local goldsmiths to create jewelry from his designs, based off pre-Colombian and traditional motifs.  Spratling began training silversmiths at his workshop, encouraging innovation and creativity.  Artists would advance according to ability, with many talented apprentices "graduating" to open their own workshops.

Many famous Mexican Master Silversmiths have graduated from Las Delicias including Antonio Castillo, Rafael Melendez, Hector Aguilar and Antonio Pineda.  For this reason, William Spratling is often referred to as The Father of Mexican Silver.  Although silver mining isn't a present source of revenue for the city of Taxco, jewelry production continues to this day.