Boo-tiful Skulls and Crosses for Diva de los Muertos

La Grange jewelry designer Richard Schmidt debuts his Texas- and Mexican-inspired wares at J. Landa.

By Sarah Rufca Nielsen October 29, 2014

The tiny towns of the Hill Country expertly hide their secrets, with sweet inns, delicious kolaches, and barbecue all available only to those locals in the know.

Diva de los Muertos
Oct 30, 10 a.m.–8 p.m.
J. Landa Jewelry
2412 Rice Blvd.

One such hidden gem is Richard Schmidt, a silversmith and jewelry designer in La Grange who has earned a cult following with his silver and turquoise designs. Now he's collaborating with local designer and store owner Jay Landa to launch an exclusive collection, Schmidt's first foray into the Houston market.

"He has this wonderful, old-school Mexican-Texas influence in his work," said Landa. "He loves the iconography, the skulls and the saints and the virgins. As Texas as it is, it's still very wearable and it feels very fresh."

Schmidt's pieces start at about $100 and are made from sterling silver, some with rough, hammered patterns, others finished with intricate filigree and dotted with 14 karat gold and stunning, oversized turquoise stones. In addition to the religious iconography, Schmidt's work includes distinctly Texan details, from arrows and feathers to a buffalo head. 

Landa and Schmidt are launching the collection on Oct. 30 with a trunk show dubbed "Diva de los Muertos" in recognition of the collection's use of icons like the sugar skulls and the skull-faced bridal catrina figure. Landa and Schmidt even commisioned West Coast-based artist Ryan Castaneda to sketch their own version of a La Catrina figure wearing examples from Schmidt's collection, and t-shirts with the exclusive design will be given away free with any purchase during the trunk show. 


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