Friday, July 2, 2010

ROCIO TALAVERA

Though presently marred by increasing pollution and deforestation the majestic Amazon Rainforest, which Peru shares with Brazil, still contains lush foliage and a large variety of wildlife. Peru is also the home of featured jewelry designer Rocio Talavera.

Peru is world-renowned for being a leading producer of silver; but like every country, it also has a rich jewelry history.

Dating back to the reign of Incan rulers, palace interiors, drinking vessels, and even garments fashioned from pure gold were commonplace to the royal families.

While the lavish surroundings of regal living provide inspiration to Peruvian jewelry designers, many contemporary jewelers are also motivated by the inner workings of the Incan empire.

Interpretations of ceremonial knives, Incan message carriers known as chaskis, and the Andean bookkeeping instrument known as quipus, provide jewelry artists with intriguing design motifs.

The spiritual symbolism of nature in concrete and abstract representations also finds its way into the artistry of Peruvian bijouterie. Talavera brings a crisp, modern edge to jewelry items that highlight the designer's extraordinary gift at creating lithe, supple form with numerous surface textures.

The former business administration major "reawakened" her artistic side after letting it fall dormant for several years. "When I was four years old, I had great manual dexterity, and my parents signed me up for piano lesson," she recalls.

"For ten years, learning piano was my favorite pastime until I pursued business administration. After I stopped my piano lessons, I started to feel that something was missing. So I made creativity a profession."

Talavera traveled to Argentina to learn the art of silversmithing in a jeweler's workshop, and to Brazil to learn about gemstones. The educational experiences reinvigorated her, as well as taught her a great lesson in patience.

"When it came to achieving my goals, I always approached it with passion and zeal. I always gave my best effort. Little by little, my zealousness had to make way for patience. Jewelry making is an art that requires serenity and calm energy, and I like to accomplish my goals quickly.

I paid for my lack of patience with burns on my hands. I have since learned that it takes dedication, and time to achieve a great piece of jewelry. With that knowledge, I was reborn."

Flowers, snow, serpents, and the moon inspire Talavera's lovely, minimalist sterling silver jewelry. According to Peruvian mythology, silver is believed to be the physical manifestation of the moon's tears, and Talavera's sleek Moon Halo Pendant is a stunning interpretation of the celestial body.

Her Snow Storm and Cosmic Lands cuffs highlight glorious variations of textures, as I previously mentioned, which I feel is the designer's signature. Textures include small craters, sandpaper-like grains, light scratches, and closely positioned vertical and horizontal slashes.

"I love achieving textures. Many are inspired by the cosmos and they emulate the lunar surface," she says. The fluidity and suppleness of form is very central to her aesthetic. You definitely see her love for the craft of silversmithing.

Her designs span structures as light and transient as her Modern Bouquet Necklace to the sculptural twists of her Serpentines Earrings to the orbital links of her Whirligig Cocktail Ring.

Her subtle, delicate pieces seem to celebrate the subliminal, calming aspect of nature upon the human psyche. Even within the streamlined proportions, the jewelry is uniquely differential.

"My goal is to perfect my work day-by-day, rediscovering silver and I hope customers will experience the satisfaction of finding a unique, well-made piece of jewelry."
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Photo 1 (top right): Sterling Silver Moon Halo Pendant
Photo 2 (bottom left): Sterling Silver Snow Storm Cocktail Ring
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