Artisan jewelry from Peru is something that many people have never heard of or seen. The ones who have seen it, however, know that it leaves a lasting impression. For centuries, Peruvian artisans have been mastering the craft of jewelry making. Some specialize in mate, pronounced ma-tay, which is the art of gourd carving. Their carvings are then placed in sterling silver to form artisan earrings, bracelets, and pendants. Others are experts in filigree, a technique that involves elaborate designs made from thin strands of sterling silver. The skill and patience the artisans have is amazing, and they continue to create new and interesting handmade jewelry designs like the mate bird earrings shown here.
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After twenty five years of traveling with my husband in his homeland, I feel that I have a second homeland myself in Peru, and sometimes it feels like the culture of the land runs in my blood, too! One of my favorite things to do while vacationing there has always been to shop in the artisan markets. The silver jewelry in particular, featuring native stones and silver….these captured my attention. Who knew that someday I would be happily working with artisans to create designs that would become so popular with women in the U.S. They are now treasures to others as they have been to me. Artisan traditions are ancient, deeply rooted in Peruvian culture. It is true that what makes each Peruvian artisan necklace special is that combination of technical expertise and cultural richness, informing the designs even as they are modernized. My partners and I are proud of those roots and the fact that all of the jewelry in our collection features native Peruvian materials. A perfect example is our Inlaid Stone and Shell handcrafted bracelet which features spondylus shell and semi-precious stones.