Owner: Susan Hebert
Portland, OR 97209
Cobre Copper/Susan Hebert Imports
Cobre –”copper” in Spanish– has been made by the Purepecha Indians of Central Mexico since pre-Columbian times. When the Europeans arrived in the 16th century, they found the Purepecha making domestic implements and weapons from copper found in local, above-ground mines. Father Vasco de Quiroga introduced a few refinements; however, little has changed in how the copper is worked and finished. Because the copper mines have long been closed, today the smiths gather and melt discarded copper for use in their workshops.
Cobre is a Fair Trade company and has been “Fairly Traded” since 1994. We currently work with 7 different workshops that employ 1 to 7 artisans. Most of the people in the workshops are related: fathers, sons, uncles, cousins. Each workshop has its own style. One shop makes only small pieces, maximum 3″ high, while another prefers to work in organic forms; pears, apples, gourds, squashes.