Caraí - MG
The municipality of Caraí, founded in 1948, in the Jequitinhonha Valley near the town of Araçuaí, is around 376km from the state capital Belo Horizonte and has a population of 21,530 or so (IBGE, 2007), almost 70% of whom live in the countryside. Caraí is important for its pottery production. For a long time the local pottery was concentrated on utility objects such as pots, water jars and pans. In the area of figurative ceramics, important original artists appeared in the 1970s that influenced the regional production. They include Noemiza Batista dos Santos and Ulisses Pereira Chaves, both of them children and grandchildren of potters, a sign of how old this trade is in the region. Currently, the local pottery production is undergoing a recovery process with the return of some artists to the activity, after some years of absence.