SANTA CLARA DEL COBRE
Family tradition, our love for Mexico, and our admiration for its traditional craftmanship have all contributed to us creating MIM to showcase the work of Mexican artisans and designers in the UK and Europe.
In this month’s edition, we would like to take our readers to Santa Clara del Cobre, a town known for its copper craftmanship.
The world of craftmanship in Mexico is intricate and this can be appreciated when visiting Santa Clara del Cobre and the various shops and workshops where artisans create magnificent copperware; from vases and jewellery to stunning trays, such as that showcased in our monthly favourites.
Santa Clara del Cobre is located in the state of Michoacán in Mexico. The capital city, Morelia is so well preserved that it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1991 and, surprisingly, remains relatively unknown by tourists outside Mexico. The colonial cathedral and downtown area are well-maintained, and it is a stunning place to visit. In our opinion, one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico.
Santa Clara del Cobre is only an hour’s drive away from Morelia, nestled in the beautiful mountains of Michoacán. A vibrant town full of colonial houses and white painted buildings with red tiled rooves, Santa Clara is well-known for its artisans who keep alive the tradition of carving handicrafts in copper. Hence the name of the place. Cobre means copper in Spanish!
Many of the houses in Santa Clara del Cobre have been converted into copper workshops and shops and many of the buildings are adorned with copper decorations. The centre of the town contains a kiosk with a copper roof, as well as wall decorations.
Its friendly inhabitants are always welcoming visitors and making the experience memorable. The town is part of the Pátzcuaro region of Michoacán and is inhabited by the Purepecha people (one of the major empires of the pre-Colombian era). Purepechas have been working with copper since the pre-Hispanic era and have continued to do so ever since.
Every year in late August or early September the National Festival and Competition of Hammered Copper takes place in Santa Clara. This is one of the events that has enhanced the state’s reputation as a fine copper crafts producer and it worth visiting. If a trip to Mexico is not on your agenda for this year, the British Museum in London has several cooper objects from Santa Clara del Cobre on display
Image by Onora