Kevin and his trusty steed. About to ride off into the Sahara Desert in eastern Morocco. April 2017.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Galetta (Ottawa), Ontario.

Where are they going next? We have flights booked to London, England October 11th, connecting to Berlin, Germany.

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

The copper artisan town of Santa Clara del Cobre

Sorry for the delayed posting. Didn't get out of bed on time, and then had a few other things to do on the internet and time just ran out!

On Tuesday, we took the group to Santa Clara del Cobre. This town is famous or it's artisans who make products out of copper. There used to be a mine in the area, but now all copper used to produce the products is recycled copper that come mostly in the form of copper wire before it is melted down.

Just before 10:00am, we called 4 taxis from Rancho la Mesa where the RV park is. The one way cost for the 18 km (11 mile) trip was 200 pesos ($14 CAD, $10.75 USD). We arrived at about 10:30am and brought the group directly to a place where they do a good demonstration of the procedures used by the artisans.

Rafael, telling us about the copper.

Heating the copper is done with wood. Gas is too expensive.

Showing us how they beat a piece of copper.

Denise and Mona giving it a try.

Rafael showing us the colors after a hot piece of copper is quickly cooled.

Interesting stuff, and I think everybody enjoyed the demonstrations. The actual work for finished products is done in a big warehouse and we would have liked to visit but we were told that because of the acids used in cleaning the metal it is not open to the public.

We did some shopping in the copper stores and some people bought some small items. Of course we don't have room for the bigger stuff in our motorhomes!

Lots of copper products for sale!

It was getting close to noon, and we needed some lunch. I used google maps to find a listing for a gordita place that got good reviews. Gorditas "Doña Mary" turned out to be exactly what we were looking for. A little hole in the wall place that didn't even have a sign outside!

Here's the restaurant.

Everybody enjoying gorditas.

Kevi, Larry, Mona, and Roger.

No sign to tell you what's there.

Next stop was a photo op with Roy... At Rosty-Roy Wood fired Roast Chicken.

Next stop was the free Copper Museum.

They have been making copper pieces here since the 1540's.

Kevin, with a big copper plate!

This vase, shaped like a fish won the 2018 Copper artisan award. 
There was a tag inside that said it took one man three and a half months to complete.
The tag also said it was priced at 102,000 pesos ($7,000 CAD, $5,500 USD).





Kids just got out of school.

Scenery along the way.

The local church is getting a new bell.

Inside the church.

The chandeliers inside the church are all made out of copper.

The group separated a bit because some wanted to see more things. Ruth and I took a collectivo back to Patzcuaro at a cost of 18 pesos ($1.25 CAD, $0.97 USD) per person. We had a 10 minute walk back to the campground from where they dropped us off.

Another great day in Mexico!

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10 comments:

  1. That copper, Wow.
    Do you tip the guy letting you all hammer?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep, the copper items are totally amazing. We can't believe how much work goes into making just one of these items. They are true craftsmen.

      At the place that we go to to see the demonstration, they actually ask you to come up and give the hammering a try, it is not like we are asking to try. Lol, we should get paid to do their work! ;-) There is a tip "jar" for those wanting to tip for the demonstration itself though.

      Just a suggestion but it would be nice to end your comment with your your first name when you are signing on as Anonymous. :-)

      Delete
  2. The museum is excellent. It tells the story of Santa Clara and makes it very clear that the Mexican Revolution left the people of Michoacan much poorer than before and until the 1940s when WWII started. Great town, wonderful people.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We really enjoyed wandering around in the museum. Some of the copper pieces that they had on display were amazing.

      It is a wonderful town and very friendly people. :-)

      Delete
  3. Great post, as usual. Some years back we drove the circle from PV to Guadalajara and back south to Colima and stopped in a small town filled with those copper wares. It was astonishing and I wanted to bring dozens of pots back with us. But we never saw what you showed your group - very interesting - those girls looked like they could do the job !

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I would expect that the copper pieces that you saw came from Santa Clara del Cobre and then are sold in that area. That would be why you didn't see the actually making of the copper pieces. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Traditional_copper_work_in_Mexico.

      Yep both Mona and Denise did a great job. :-)

      Delete
  4. Last year in Colorado Springs we happened on a store selling Mexican wares, including copper. Our eyes were big at the prices. The owner came up and started explaining where they came from. We told him we were in Santa Clara del Cobre in 2016 and noticed the huge price differences. He nodded his head and, I think, hoped we would not say anything to other shoppers.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We can only imagine the prices that they must have been asking up there in Colorado Springs! Depending on the piece that someone buys it just might be cheaper for them to come down to Santa Clara del Cobre and buy the piece here, then they would get the item and a trip out of it for not much more than what they would have paid up there, lol. ;-)

      Delete
  5. Beautiful stuff. It makes you wonder with the current price of copper if there is any more copper to be mined if they reopened it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From everything that we have read about the local mines, is that they were totally tapped out of copper in the mid 20th century, this is why they now use recycled copper that gets shipped to them each week.

      Delete

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