Barniz De Pasto

Barniz de Pasto technique stems from a raw material by the name of Mopa Mopa. It is a small, earthy plant that is recollected and treated by artisans in the Pasto, Nariño region. It is mainly used for decorative purposes and applied on a base material such as wood or ceramics.

Artisans transform the Mopa Mopa by hand – clearing the soil from it and unifying several of them to create a chewy, gum-like material. When it is cleaned, the Mopa Mopa displays an olive-like color. Its state can change depending on its temperature – artisans boil it to manipulate it with their hands as if it were clay. When it is dry, it is sturdy and solid.

Artisans place sheets of the material on top of a working base, typically wood or ceramic, and seal it with their body heat. Each artisan has a personal style and technique – there are some more traditional than others. This process is considered an important Cultural Heritage of Humanity.