Wednesday, April 13, 2011

More of Day Four of my Artisan & Architecture Tour

Totally refreshed from a scrumptious lunch, we climbed into our big van for the scenic half hour drive through the pine and oak forests over to Santa Clara de Cobre.  This town is famous for its production of copper pieces from etched vases, huge cauldrons (cazos), trays to sinks.  The majority of the town's population revolves around the copper industry.  Over the years I have bought from the owner above.  He gave us a tremendous tour and explanation of the whole copper process while some of his employees demonstrated their craftsmanship.
Judy and Bonnie were busy pumping the bellows (hechizo) which keeps the flames going and heats the chunk of copper.
 As you saw above with the photo of Judy, Nancy, Gail and Liz were sporting such lovely copper crowns that we were given to model during the demonstrations.  How goofy is that? But what fun!
There were five men standing around the wood stump that had a hot piece of copper on it.  In an orchestrated rhythm, they all hammered the chunk of copper as the man sitting on the stool rotated it.  It is a sign of great craftsmanship when only one piece of copper is used to make the desired piece.  Here Debra is trying her skill with the hammer.  She hammered away. I think the man sitting there was rather brave.  Stand back, there she goes again. 
I think Debra and Yvonne make good looking "Queens of Santa Clara de Cobre."  After all the demonstrations, many bought a vase, pot or tray.  I have quite a few in my home in Denver and in San Miguel de Allende.   In San Miguel, I love putting Gladiolas in the one in the living room.  In Denver, the pot graces my Carrera marble counter top in my kitchen.
Not far from the copper taller (workshop), we met Guillermo at his home and taller.  There were about four looms in his courtyard with one gentleman weaving a beautiful rug.  Using all wool in the weft and the warp, handsome rugs and ponchos are woven by Guillermo and his workers.
Being in the interior design business, I am crazy about rugs.  The rugs that Guillermo showed us were beautifully woven and the colors they used would work most everywhere.  I wanted  to buy one but I already have two kilims folded up and sitting on a trunk in my guest bedroom that I had bought in Istanbul.  Oh well, maybe next time...
Back in Patzcuaro, we stopped in the main plaza and bought a few things before heading back to the hotel.  I picked up some wine for our tomorrow's picnic lunch in the countryside.
 It was such a pleasant evening and the walk over to the restaurant for dinner was great.  When I set up the dinner with the owner, Susi, of the Restaurant Mistongo, I made sure that we had the guitar player there to serenade out group.
Susi always has a rotating art show of paintings from local artists in her restaurant.  This is a typical scene with my group, laughing and having fun.
Some of us walked back to the hotel through the Don Vasco Plaza.  After just a few days with the ladies, it looks like I have them pretty well trained.  Another end to a perfect day.

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