Copper from Santa Clara del Cobre
The town of Santa Clara del Cobre near Pátzcuaro in Michoacán is the source of some of the world’s most extraordinary works in copper. For over 500 years, nearby sources of copper stimulated the trade of copper work, and most of the items made were utilitarian: sinks, pots and pans, and large cooking vessels. In 1966, an American artist, James Metcalf and his wife, Mexican artist Ana Pellicer, began working with the coppersmiths, teaching them new techniques and decorative designs and heralding a new era in the town. Now the coppersmiths are true artists, creating spectacular decorative vessels and chargers.
When the coppersmiths in the town of Santa Clara del Cobre in Michoacan began creating decorative works instead of only sinks and cooking pots, they received the commission to create the large glorious flame holder for the Olympic torch for the 1968 Olympic games held in Mexico City. To create decorative vessels, they melt the copper into large flat disks. Then, using a combination of heat, laborious hammering, and specially shaped anvils and hammers they flatten the disks into thin copper and then shape them into stunning works of art.