Fair Trade since 1994
Cobre is a Fair Trade company and has been “Fairly Traded” since 1994. We currently work with 7 different workshops that employ 1 to 7 artisans. Most of the people in the workshops are related: fathers, sons, uncles, cousins. Each workshop has its own style. One shop makes only small pieces, maximum 3″ high, while another prefers to work in organic forms; pears, apples, gourds, squashes. Ramon’s work is extremely fine with thin walls, while Antonio’s work is thick-walled and monumental. Each piece is proudly signed by its creator.
The Bonfire Method
- During the bonfire method, coppersmiths take the recycled copper and patiently heat and hammer it until the metal is “raised”– meaning the bowl or vase walls are formed.
- The smith then takes a special hammer to finish the piece.
- Depending upon the amount of salt in the air and how often the copper piece is handled, the metal will oxidize and the finish becomes matte, as the color darkens to deep browns and reds.
The History of Copper in Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacán – Mexico
This video portrays the metal smithing process from beginning to end: from melted scrap copper to finished product. It also provides context of the history of the area where the coppersmiths live and work. Spanish language video.