For generations, the coppersmiths of Mexico have been taking lumps of metal and turning them into extraordinary works of art.

The jaw-dropping forms these artisans create seem to defy copper’s solid nature with pieces that appear to billow, twist, and move.

Copper artisans have been a staple in the fabric of Michoacán, Mexico since before it was even Mexico.

It’s a beautiful craft that was traditionally centered in the Purépecha Empire (now the states of Michoacán and Jalisco), and has been maintained by artisans in these areas throughout colonization and revolution. 1

Since local copper mines have been closed for years, these artisans are using scrap copper (wires, car parts, etc.) and recycling them to create absolutely stunning pieces. In this dynamic video below from Mariano Rentería Garnica, we get a look into the workings of one of the most prominent shops in the area; that of the Punzo Ángel family. They’re like a machine; working meticulously with years of technique and knowledge under their belts. Take a look…

We’ve paired this video with thought-provoking discussion questions perfect for the classroom in this touchstone on our education platform, EWCed!

Will you ever look at a piece of copper the same?

From the ancestral ties and sheer intricacy of the craft to the ability to recycle a considerable amount of trash into art, there are many levels of wonder to working with copper. Unfortunately, I didn’t know about all of these levels until I clicked play on this video, but now I’ll forever look at copper pieces from around the world with admiration.

It’s funny how once you learn how an object is created, it becomes so much more.

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“From the vision of each artisan, we get to know the process of their craft and the tradition behind each piece, as well as the origin of the raw material they use to develop their work.”

That quote is from the description of the gorgeous documentary series this video is a part of; Mexico’s Handcraft Masters. It’s about the different methods of working various crafts in the state of Michoacán, created by Mariano Rentería Garnica. You can view the series in full by visiting their Vimeo page!

Stay open to new possibilities!

  •  Sam

“No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it.” — Albert Einstein 

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  1. “Traditional Copper Work in Mexico.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 08 July 2018. Web. 17 July 2018. <>.
  2. “Mexican Handcraft Masters / COPPER.” Vimeo. Mariano Renteria Garnica, 04 Jan. 2018. Web. 17 July 2018. <>.

Sam has written and edited hundreds of articles since joining the EWC team in 2016. She writes about topics from the wonders of nature to the organizations changing the world and the simple joys in life! Outside of the EWC office, she’s a part-time printmaker, collector of knick-knacks, and taster of cheeses.