Hand Hammered Copper Plates
Made by the Purepecha Indians of Central Mexico since
pre-Columbian times. When the Europeans arrived in the
16th century, they found the Purepecha making domestic
implements and weapons from copper found in local,
above-ground mines. Father Vasco de Quiroga introduced a
few refinements; however, little has changed in how the
copper is worked and finished. Because the copper mines
have long been closed, today the smiths gather and melt
discarded copper for use in their workshops.
During the bonfire method, coppersmiths take the reclaimed 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 manufacture is a member of the Fair Trade Federation.
Fair Trade Federation members must: