"The nicest part about my craft is that I get to create something new, a piece of jewelry that no one else has. I also like wearing my own designs and say with pride, 'I made this.'"
"Though my parents weren't artisans, my interest in making jewelry began when I was 12 years old. Growing up in a loving family with my two sisters and parents, I remember watching grandma making necklaces from a wide variety of materials, and so I started with elastic bands and beads, and grandma gradually introduced me to a plethora of other materials as well as techniques. She would let me have the materials leftover from her own designs. The first bracelet I ever made was with the wood beads she gave me and I cut off the elastic from a little mask to thread the beads. It didn't really look very nice because the elastic was blue but I still have it!
"I can still recall when gemstones first caught my attention. I used to collect quartzes and other unusual stones, and eventually I started figuring out how to integrate them into my jewelry designs. Grandma and I started learning together how to do it, and after various trials and errors, watching others and figuring out what to do, I can now say I am a self-taught jewelry maker.
"I've been crafting jewelry since 2005 approximately, and now I have my own little workshop. I prefer to work with sterling silver, cultured pearls and gemstones though they are not so easy to find given their high cost at local markets.
"I love the shapes and textures that nature has designed, especially for plants, flowers and leaves. I also like to have a rustic element in my designs, so that one can appreciate that each jewelry piece has been crafted by hand, and that makes it special.
"The nicest part about my craft is that I get to create something new, a piece of jewelry that no one else has. I also like wearing my own designs and say with pride, 'I made this.'
"The most challenging aspect of making jewelry is trying to sell something that is not regarded as a basic need, especially during hard economic times. It makes it more difficult to be established as an artisan working on my own as it requires a heavy investment to procure the appropriate tools and materials, as well as promotion. Nevertheless, it is worth it and I enjoy making jewelry.
"In Guatemala we use a lot of silver, gems and some marine materials for making jewelry. For example, Maya women wear traditional chachales necklaces which they craft with silver, beads, jade and shells. These traditional necklaces have inspired some of my designs.
"The tools I mainly use are saws, hammers, pliers, tweezers, files and sandpaper. With these tools I work the cold forging technique, and they are useful for giving shape to silver sheets and wires. Once I've crafted a piece I give it an antique finish with a sulfur solution, and then I polish it. By working with cold forging techniques I don't need any type of fuel or electricity, and I also don't generate any waste.
"My other great passion is baking, especially desserts and sweets. I also enjoy painting with oils and I take any opportunity I can to continue creating art.
"To me, Novica is a great opportunity for both artisans and customers, because it enables all of us to be connected. Through Novica our products acquire great meaning: the client gets to know who am I, and I get to know that my creations and my hard work are being truly appreciated."
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