The Toluca Botanical Garden in Mexico includes the deep purple leaves of the Santiaguito plant, beautiful Azucenas, Mexican orchids, and an array of plants from Brazil and Africa. Mexico is also the home of jewelry designer Carlos Muñoz.
Mexican jewelry has a history of great artistry such as the silver jewelry made by early Aztecs who created personal ornaments for nobles as well as intricate ceremonial masques.
Presently, Mexico still has a thriving jewelry industry in both small towns and large cities. Muñoz brings a modern take on Mexico's traditional jewelry. "Celestial elements were venerated by our ancestors, and have fascinated me all my life."
He studied English in the United States before attending Mexico University's School of Fine Arts. During his tenure there, he "began to take private lessons in areas that interested me--drawing, painting, and jewelry making," he says.
Muñoz' skills are masterful; "My jewelry making process begins by sculpting the design in wax and casting a mold around it.
When the molten silver is passed into the mold, the wax melts and runs out. I add details by hand covering special enamel on areas I don't want gold."
Muñoz also uses 22-karat gold plating over sterling silver, black onyx, and papier-mâchè to create his lovely "celestial" Shadows of the Sun Ring; Golden Eclipse Pendant; and his Blue Moon Pendant, among others.
Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver and Papier-mâchè Passion's Fantasy Pendant Necklace
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver and Papier-mâchè Sun Moon Kiss Pendant Necklace