In northeastern Brazil, in the State of Rio Grande do Norte, the dunes overlooking the sea are permeated with salts and minerals.
And the same is true here, in the sandstone cliffs of the Morro Branco, in the State of Ceará.
In both places, the presence of such salts tints the sand into an astonishing variety of very distinct colors.
And the availability of that colorful sand has given rise to a uniquely Brazilian art form.
It would be wrong to call it bottle painting, because what you see here hasn’t been painted, or even sketched in advance.
It’s formed by adding layer after layer of sand, and by the shaping of each layer with a wand inserted into the mouth of the bottle.
The artists pass on their techniques from generation to generation.
And, with few exceptions, the designs follow traditional patterns.
You’d think they’d be costly, wouldn’t you?
But no. It’s one of the poorer regions of the country and labor, even skilled artisanal labor, is cheap.
The smaller examples of this work can be had for as little as two American dollars.