The custom of hanging offerings on the walls of churches was very common in towns all over Mexico in the 16th century. These offerings sometimes consisted of a figurine of a body part and were hung in the temple near of the saint or god whose intersection had been invoked. In these temples, shrines and places of worship many eyes, ears, arms and other body parts were founded as a sign of gratitude. These silver figurines were then named “milagritos” or little miracles.
In Mexico, these offerings and customs, like other rituals were transmitted by the Spaniards to introduce the Catholic religion. Over time the churches were accumulating thousands of miracles. It is known that religious figures like nuns used some miracles to decorate tables, altars and altarpieces of the churches and vestries. This was how they started to be used as decorative accessories that eventually were also used for the home.
In 1992 Argui Diseños was founded in Morelia, Michoacán as an initiative of its founder Teacher Maria Teresa Guizar Leal. Her inspiration was in her admiration for the works of religious art that were displayed in temples. The name Argui came up using the first letters from the last names of her family Arceo Guizar. With the support of her family, she decided to create the Milagrería´s Workshop in order to design several pieces, mostly crosses, boxes, and wood carvings, to support a group of artisans from Michoacán who handmade each of this pieces of art using different techniques and materials including silver and gold leaf.
The shop currently produces about 3000 different models most of which are decorative accessories and also some jewelry.
Argui designs are where our artisans imprint their soul in each piece which makes it a one of a kind handmade art piece.