Discover the Charm of Minas Gerais Handicraft: Traditions and Stories

Minas Gerais handicraft is a rich and diverse manifestation that uses materials such as ceramics, wood, soapstone, and vegetable fibers to create unique pieces that adorn homes and spaces worldwide. In this article, we will explore some of the gems of Minas Gerais handicraft, its traditions, and fascinating stories.

The Golden Grass: A Hidden Gem

In addition to the famous ceramics from the Jequitinhonha Valley, Minas Gerais handicraft hides a precious secret – the golden grass. Originating from the euriocaulaceae family, this unique plant, with its radiant color and singular shine, is the raw material for a variety of jewelry, lamps, and decorative objects. In Raiz, a hamlet of Presidente Kubitschek, the community has come together to cultivate and transform this plant, which was previously only used for decorative arrangements. Since this discovery, the lives of the artisans have flourished, and handicrafts made from golden grass have become a source of livelihood for many.

Soapstone from Ouro Preto: A Tradition Passed Down Through Generations

The sculptures and carvings in soapstone from Ouro Preto captivate both Minas Gerais locals and tourists. For over five decades, the Bretas brothers have been working with this material in the region. Their works, often influenced by the Baroque movement, are true works of art. Each brother leaves their distinct mark on the soapstone, resulting in unique and astonishing pieces. With over 50 years of dedication, their works are spread around the world and were honored at the National Handicraft Fair in Belo Horizonte, a recognition well-deserved.

Weaving and Embroidery: The Heart of Minas Gerais Handicraft

Small towns such as Arinos, Buritis, Bonfinópolis de Minas, Uruana de Minas, and Chapada Gaúcha are home to the tradition of embroidery and natural yarn dyeing. After a meticulous process of cotton harvesting, ginning, and cleaning, skilled spinners transform the fibers into beautiful threads, which are dyed with natural pigments, resulting in unique shades. On the loom, these threads come to life, turning into blankets, rugs, curtains, bags, and many other products that reflect the essence of Minas Gerais.

São João del-Rei: Tin and a Passion for Handicraft

In São João del-Rei, tin is the star of the local handicraft. Candleholders, chalices, cups, and vases are true works of art, produced since the 1960s. The manufacturing process remains essentially artisanal, and the pieces maintain unique characteristics that enchant collectors and admirers around the world.

Blue and White Porcelain: A Relic from Monte Sião

Many are unaware that Minas Gerais is home to the only blue and white porcelain factory in Brazil, located in the city of Monte Sião. Since 1959, this factory has been producing a wide range of porcelain and figurines inspired by Portuguese tiles, with a completely artisanal production process. The pieces strongly resemble old Portuguese porcelain, surprising visitors who often believe they are imported. In reality, these treasures are handmade in Minas.

An Overview of Minas Gerais Handicraft

It is estimated that Minas Gerais is home to approximately 300,000 artisans, generating over R$2 billion in annual revenue. To formalize the sector, artisans can register with the Brazilian Handicraft Information Registry System (Sicab) and obtain the National Artisan Card, which facilitates participation in specialized events such as fairs, exhibitions, and training.

In summary, Minas Gerais handicraft is a true jewel of Brazil, rich in history, tradition, and talent. Each piece produced is more than a decorative object; it is a work of art that carries the passion and dedication of generations of talented artisans. Discover the beauty and charm of Minas Gerais handicraft and become a part of this legacy of creativity and culture.

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