As a child. I grew up in Spanish speaking countries in Europe, Central and South America. These were the very first cultures that imprinted on my DNA. They instilled in me a love for all things primitive and all things born of nature; and today, these elements carry through in the aesthetic of my jewelry.
I'm captivated by the way in which life is celebrated in these cultures through ritual and symbolism. The relics, which are part of ceremony and every day life, tell a deeply personal story and allow these themes and narratives to continue on through the ages. When we lived abroad, my family collected art, textiles, ceramics and handmade objects which we frequently found in the open air mercados. My mother and I have a deep love for these treasures (we call them cositas) that are thoughtfully scattered throughout our homes.
My newest collection, Chachal, is born out of this love for primitive, historic and artful handmade objects. The word chachal means necklace in Quiché, the native language of the indigenous Mayan from the central highlands in Guatemala. Like many cultures throughout Africa, India, and Himalayan regions, the elite Mayans, Aztecs and Incas wore ornamental coral as a symbol of status and for protection. Once the Spaniards arrived, the coral reefs were depleted and these indigenous people began adding the Spanish silver réal coins, and silver amulets, to their chachales.
Featured above is an image of my mother’s chachal, which she had customized by working with the artist to choose her own “cositas” to hang among the coral beads. My love for this piece, and what it evokes, has inspired me to design several different types of chachales with relics from Central and South America, Africa and the Himalayan region. They’re beauty emanates from the time-worn nature of the relics - and the story they tell.
I hope you find one that speaks to you and your spirit.