Last month Flirt (my dog) and I made our first trip into Santa Clara del Cobre, Michocan. When I say I went into Santa Clara I went into a dusty, hot fire filled factory. My ears were filled with a constant ringing from over a dozen men hammering out copper by hand. In the center of the workshop a bonfire was blazing with black smoke bellowing out to a hole in the metal roof above. The smoke from the constant fire had turned everything black.
The entire workshop was void of color except for one end of the building where the copper sinks came out polished, glowing from what little light entered the cave like conditions. It was hard to wrap my head around the fact that every little hammer mark, every embellishment in each sink, tub or table was made by hand in a dirt floor shop.
As I toured around with Roger we entered a smaller room off to the side to look at more finished product, it was unreal. In rows across the cement floor there were literally thousands of sinks turned upside down and stacked into each other. It was amazing to see so many copper sinks under one small section of the shop while still dozens more were being produced inside the factory every day. Next, we went to the warehouse where the finished copper sinks, copper range hoods and tubs were being checked for blemishes. In this warehouse it was easier to breath, but I still couldn´t escape the constant hammering.
The light was better in this warehouse and with the help of Alejandro, Enrique and Gabriela, we handpicked items to be in the Counter Cultures photo shoot. I got the job to stand up on wooden crates and hold up a large white sheet while the men moved bathtubs, vases, hoods, tables and small sinks in front so Roger could get a clean photo. A few hours later we had captured over 50 pictures. As we packed up to leave and say our goodbyes to all our new friends, I took one last look around. I felt so impressed how this smoke filled shop with a dirt floor was turning out some of the most amazing designs in copper, that end up in showcase homes across the world.
Written by Katherine Fisher, Certified E-RYT
Counter Cultures is an amazing Mexico store (retail location here in San Miguel de Allende) that provides high end hardware and faucets. ALL of their copper stuff is made here in Mexico —- visit the factory for a super amazing experience!