I was a 17-year-old girl when I discovered working with precious metals, while looking for painting classes at an arts center in the Providencia neighborhood of Santiago. As I talked with the secretary, I was struck by the goldsmith’s workshop I could see through a door. The fire being used to work the metal captivated my attention and I sensed the smell of alchemy, of transformation, and the power of shaping intention into precious objects. I thought of some of my most significant jewels, and a shower of images and creativity flooded into my mind. I understood this was my calling – the art I wanted to learn.
After a few months when I knew how to weld and had made a couple of jewels, my soul felt great excitement when I began to look at the silversmithing art of the indigenous Mapuche. It happened at a crucial point in my design training, when I had to solve the challenge of assembling two modules. A fellow student commented, “Why don’t you put tubes on it, like the Mapuches do?” Aesthetically the solution was perfect, and spiritually it carried me to the forgotten roots of my ancestors. Myblood is not pure Mapuche but, as a native Chilean I do have enough to feel a strong call not to forget the sacred lineage of the original guardians of my land.
Over time, my understanding of ancestral symbols grew and my curiosity led me to connect with other ethnic groups of the Americas and the world beyond as well.
My art transmits a sacred ancestral memory expressed in the present day, as an offering to that same inspirational source. My greatest hope is that my jewelry serves to anchor the longing each one of us has to connect to her sacred being and to Spirit.