Margot de Taxco

Posted: Dec 01 2015

The life of Margot Van Voorhies is a compelling story, assuring us all that true beauty is most commonly the child of pain and tragedy. Margot's early life was simple - she was an only child, born at the turn of the century,raised by a single mother in San Francisco.  Two horrific life events sent her fleeing to the artisan colony of Taxco, Mexico, where Margot drew heavily from the beauty of her surroundings and finely tuned her artists talents. She was an avid draftswoman, but it took the tutoring of Antonio Castillo to help her create three dimensional designs, which he then created in Silver.  They established their own company together, she as the designer, and he as the silversmith, and soon introduced some of the most beautiful pieces of jewelry to come from Taxco, Mexico. Her relationship with Antonio disintegrated, but once again, Margot worked through the heartbreak and emerged with even more brilliant designs and a new medium, the art of enamel on Silver.  

Margot was very intelligent, and a good businesswoman, and her business, Margot de Taxco, grew rapidly  At one time she employed hundreds of artisans in her workshop, half of which were women!  But she trusted the wrong people. Taken advantage of by her most trusted advisers, she watched her company crumble.  At the end of her career, she was reduced to giving the last of her assets, her molds and tools, to her workers in lieu of their weekly pay.  She was cared for by close friends as her last illness slowly claimed her, and died in poverty.

A friend recently asked if I believed in redemption.  Aside from the religious connotations, I can still say a heartfelt Yes.  I have held beautiful pieces of Margot de Taxco's jewelry in my hand - these 60 years later - and still marvel at the sheer beauty of each piece.  Each graceful line, and the brilliant colors she used, still resonate deeply of a passionate, damaged soul who found healing through beauty.     

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