Monday, August 26, 2013


Sterling Silver Zebra Necklace
Guadalajara, Mexico has something for everyone including mariachi bands, free concerts and exciting roller coaster rides at the local theme park.  

The Planetarium and Historic Center provide a more cerebral experience.  Mexico is also home to featured jewelry designer Emilia Castillo.

What do you do when your name is legendary in the field of silversmithing?  You create great jewelry that’s what.  

The daughter of renowned silversmith Antonio Castillo, Emilia definitely knows the mechanics of a workshop. The talented artisan crafts not only jewelry but also home decor including Christmas ornaments.

Based on Castillo’s online gallery nature is her muse.  Fauna not flora take center stage in her beautifully detailed handmade sterling silver jewelry collections of lariat necklaces, cuff bracelets, and silver rings.  Designs highlight impressive sculpted forms of monkeys, alligators, coiled snakes and giraffes to name a few.

Though her jewelry is ripe with detail, Castillo clearly embraces the ideology of less is more.  Her eloquent homage to creatures large and small is sans pavé gemstones which I believe works best for animal-inspired jewelry. 
Sterling Silver and Copper Calla Lily Earrings
In one instance the award-winning designer’s superlative manipulation of oxidized and white sterling silver reveals a dead-on replication of exotic zebra skin.  In another example, Castillo emulates the sinewy, body curvature and coarse ridges of an alligator.    These statement makers are sure to bring out your inner Sheena!

“I grew up in Taxco, Mexico and was surrounded by master silversmiths in my father’s workshops.  I apprenticed under these incredibly skillful craftsmen, and eventually mastered the techniques of transforming silver, 18-karat gold and copper.

For twenty-seven years I have placed emphasis on innovation and experimentation a part of my creation process.  I have always drawn inspiration from my ranch at Taxco.  It is a beautiful place. 

Sterling Silver Alligator Cuff Bracelet
Animals are a big part of my aesthetic and it can take up to three weeks to create a piece.  It is all very labor-intensive.  But I love what I do.  I have had great opportunities like creating works for heads of state around the world.  I am very proud of that.”

2013 Jewelry Trend AlertWhat would jewelry be without metals?  Traditional metals are at the top of this year’s style trend and Castillo’s metal of choice sterling silver is one them.

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