How To Shop for Blown Glass in Mexico

Glassblowing is a technique used to form glass into different shapes and sizes. Using a molten glass, a glassblower or gaffer inflates the glass through a blowpipe or tube from which a figure forms. Blown glass makes a very nice collectors’ item and many people are drawn to buying them to decorate their homes and offices. Mexico as a tourist place is popular for its colorful blown glass souvenir items. Tourists who come to visit this country never fail to visit blown glass shops and bring home several pieces of blown glass articles. The best places to shop for blown glass in Mexico include Guadalajara and Puerto Vallarta. To guide you in shopping for blown glass in Mexico, read the following suggestions:

  • Know the different types of blown glass. Molten glass material used in making vases, wine glasses and bottles may vary accordingly. They are classified according to grades such that one blown glass item may be thicker and another one is less solid. Educate yourself about these points so you know how to pick the right blown glass item that suits your preference.
  • Visit Saturday bazaars in Mexico City for good bargains. It is during Saturdays when the Plaza San Jacinto is full to the brim with touristy products, most particularly blown glass. Not only are the prices reasonable, the items sold are also of high quality. Many blown glass pieces also come in lots of designs and colors that you will just be “blown away” by the huge collection.
  • Go to Guadalajara particularly on its outskirts to places like Tonala and Tlaquepaque. Blown glass products that are sold in these places can truly impress tourist shoppers in terms of uniqueness of color. There are shops too, where you can have your own design executed by the glassblower. And if you are lucky, you may be allowed to try blowing your own glass item with the help of a gaffer.
  • Ask a guide to bring you to Puerto Vallarta in the junction area of Basilio Badillo and Insurgentes. Manufacturers of blown glass thrive in these places and you can avail of items at factory prices. The industry itself has become a tourist attraction and you can watch gaffers do their work while you wait for your own design to be finished.
  • Speak the native language while shopping around. If you know your Spanish well, it is wise that you speak with store keepers in the language. Mexicans will feel enamored when you talk to them like Spanish is your own tongue. With this approach, you can haggle with the prices and you end up making friends as well. If you cannot speak good Spanish, bring an interpreter. Some Mexicans are not well versed in English and you may have a hard time communicating as you shop for their products.
  • Be aware of the varying prices of different items. Factors that determine the prices of certain blown glass articles are: color, size, volume, design and shape. Items in basic designs are cheaper however be ready to pay for more if you choose blown glass items with intricate designs and unique colors.

When shopping for blown glass in Mexico, have your cash ready in pesos or U.S. dollars. There are moneychangers around the prime cities and even suburbs in key places where you can have your money converted. Have fun shopping!


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