Spratling, William

Country

City

Era

Description

Specialties

  • Teacher in the Architecture Department at Tulane University.
  • Silversmith
  • Designer

1925

  • Traveled to Mexico to study Spanish Colonial architecture.
  • Made his first visit to Taxco and decided to live there.

1929

  • Moved to Mexico.
  • Invested it in a house in Taxco, near the silver mining region of Mexico.
  • Spratling created a jewelry workshop in Taxco.
  • Silver was not the usual jewelry material in Mexico and workers had to be trained.
  • Created an apprenticeship system, training many who would later be famous in their own right.
  • Used native materials such as amethyst, turquoise and rosewood in his designs.

1935

  • Moved to a larger shop to accommodate the large number of tourists coming in on the improved roadways.
  • Sold furniture, rugs, wood and tin articles along with his silver jewelry.

1944

  • Went to Alaska at the invitation of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
  • Created 200 designs based on Alaskan motifs.
  • Trained Alaskans in Taxco and sent them back to train others.

1946

  • Spratling y Artisanos had 422 workers.
    • Hundreds of small shops were opened by men trained in Spratling workshops.

1967

  • Spratling died.
  • Alberto Ulrich purchased the estate and continued to produce jewelry under the name “Sucesores de William Spratling S.A.”
  • Spratling was known throughout Mexico as the “Father of Mexican Silver.”