Just Call Me a Copper Snob

Before I visited the Mexican town of Santa Clara del Cobre in Michoacan a few weeks ago, I knew nada about copper (aka cobre en espanol). We didn’t own any copper – except for the cable that hooks the washer/dryer up to the gas lines.

Then, we visited. And went a little hog-wild, buying plates, dishware, jewelry (not enough – only two bracelets) and a serving bowl.

Copper cookware is supposed to be the chef's ultimate, because of how it conducts heat.

Copper cookware is supposed to be the chef's ultimate, because of how it conducts heat.

Copper comes in different colors, depending on the chemicals used in the finishing process.

Copper comes in different colors, depending on the chemicals used in the finishing process. This serving bowl looks like wood.

These plates are ubiquitous in Patzcuaro restaurants; they're sort of like placemats.

These plates are ubiquitous in Patzcuaro restaurants; they sort of mimic placemats....

...like this! I didn't realize my serving bowl (above two photos) would match so well with the dishware, a gift from my mother-in-law.

...when used like this. I didn't realize my serving bowl (above two photos) would match so well with the dishware, a gift from my mother-in-law.

This $2 bracelet really jazzes up an outfit.

This $2 bracelet really jazzes up an outfit.

This spree was helped by the fact that we eloped, and never got (nor wanted) any of the fancy wedding gifts most couples get. While in Mexico, we’ve managed to upgrade our home decor substantially from rickety Ikea furniture to, in some cases, original creations (or at least things you can’t find in the U.S.).

When I first moved here, I went a little crazy buying cute knickknacks you can find at most art-themed mercados. I was taken in by the bright colors of Mexico. With time, and lots of shopping experience, though, I’ve come to love the more muted art here (I think I need to do a separate blog post on those purchases), mostly made of dark wood. The copper matches perfectly.

So, we bought a lot, but not the pot.

In one of the stores we visited, Brendan and I both spotted a large copper pot from across the room; it seemed like a little beam of light was illuminating only it. We clustered around it, and spent several long minutes trying to decide if the price was worth it. After all, it was bedecked with a ribbon, indicating it had won an award in last year’s concurso, a copper artisans competition. (The category, we later found out, was for artists 15 and younger. Yes, a young joven designed the pot!)

Ultimately, we decided, no – we were just beginning our vacation across Michoacan, and the pot would seriously hinder the space in our rental car.

Then, we came home. And thought/chatted about the pot so much we went back to Santa Clara last weekend and bought it. It’s now sitting next to my desk, as we decide what to do with it (that’s the hard part).

I think it’s also time to name it, maybe Clara, para Sta. Clara.

Clara without sunshine shining down on her.

Clara without sunshine shining down on her.

Clara in the sunshine, looking less moody.

Clara in the sunshine, looking less moody.

[Friends Lesley/Crayton came with us the second time, and ended up buying a large, original artwork, too — of a more modern sort ]

7 thoughts on “Just Call Me a Copper Snob

  1. Laurie says:

    We bought a beautiful copper pot in exactly this shape (altho much, much smaller) at Fonart when we were with you guys. Love it!

  2. Sue says:

    Brave purchase! It’s gorgeous. O and I tried to buy a nice piece of original pottery in each town we visited. It’ll be fun to look at them and reminisce when we’re in our 80s.

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