Caro Barro is the result of a cocreation process between the Belgian Livable designer Sep Verboom and the Brazilian artisans of Coqueiro Campo, a village in the Valley of Jequitinhonha, in the north of Minas Gerais.
Following centuries of tradition, the woman of the community still produce artisanal ceramics that are completely made out of natural materials they find in the surroundings of the village.
For baking their objects they all have self constructed ovens in their gardens. In a central store each woman can show and sell her objects.
Caro Barro tells the story of the valley, and the way in which huge plantations of eucalyptus invaded in the lives of the artisans. At the moment they came to the region, the big companies paid only a small amount for the land they planted with eucalyptus trees. This monoculture exercises a pestiferous influence on the groundwater. As the eucalyptus trees take all of the water from the ground, the nature of the valley is irreversibly damaged.
That’s why the ceramics today are an even more important source of income for the people of Coqueiro Campo.The clay is one of the few things they can still get from nature.
When Livable designer Sep Verboom heard this story in summer 2016, when he lived and worked for one month in the village, he decided to take it as the starting point of his project. Doing so the vases tell the history of the woman and their clay. Caro Barro, the story about their sweetest, most precious clay.