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Copper Treasures in Mexico

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Traveling the world will take you to many places and in some of them you may even find treasures. But treasures are not always made of gold or diamonds. Treasures are also made of copper. And in Santa Clara del Cobre in the Mexican state of Michoac'you will understand why treasures are also made of this modest and noble metal.
Copper, the 29th element, is believed to have been mined for about 5000 years now accompanying humanity and civilization through most of his great technological accomplishments. In modern times copper is an ever present element in the electrical and electronic industry. But that's not the only area of our modern lives where copper is present. Since ancient times Mexican artisans have used copper as a valuable material to fabricate beautiful and intrincate artisan works, among them there is one branch of artisans that combine practicality and art in their work. They are those dedicated to fabricate beautiful raw copper sinks in Santa Clara del Cobre.
These sinks are fabricated entirely by hand using the same ancient techniques of their indigenous ancestors. Even gas is forbidden to heat and soften the metal, they use only charcoal in small fires in the shops and helped by their inseparable hammer artisans give life and form to the copper plates placed into the fire. But this is not all, after getting the desired shape, the sinks surface has to be treated so that they will last and look like new for many years. For this they use a process called 'patination' which is done under heat and that gives the surface of the copper sinks their characteristic color and durability.
Many people may think that copper sinks are soft or fragile but that's not so. They are sturdy enough to substitute a regular, series made, stainless steel sink. It is sturdy enough that even bathtubs are fabricated entirely on copper. And due to the 'patination' process they won't acquire a greenish color or get rusty as those old pennies that didn't have the luck of being 'patinated'.
The charming town of Santa Clara is full of shops that work day after day to bring to life this wonderful pieces that are considered a national art. They are so proud of their skills that every corner is adorned with copper, even street lamps have their share of copper. If you ever have the chance to visit Mexico, make plans and include Santa Clara del Cobre in your schedule. Who knows and you may even end cooking in a copper pan and relaxing in your own copper tub while your dinner is being cooked under a copper kitchen hood.


About the Author

Author is a freelancer writer and webprenur living part-time in Mexico and the United States.



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