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Soledad Borel

Soledad Borel

"I design and create for women who value beauty and originality."

Soledad Borel is a Chilean artisan who has lived in Costa Rica for many years. "Beginning in the mid-1990s, I have... Soledad Borel is a Chilean artisan who has lived in Costa Rica for many years.

"Beginning in the mid-1990s, I have designed and crafted my jewelry independently in my home workshop. In addition to silver, and occasionally gold, I use semi-precious stones and natural materials, such as wood and glass aged by the sea. The stones, ceramics, metals, fabrics and other 'discarded' materials combine in an original and harmonious way.

"Since I was little, I've loved this world. I always saw my mom's jewelry, many of which my dad gave her as a gift from his travels around the world. Her main taste was ethnic jewelry.

"When I lived in Africa, I became interested in jewelry from the countries in which I lived, and I bought many beads to make my own necklaces. In 1990, I wanted to improve my skills and I had the opportunity to take courses with Sue Goldgewicht, a goldsmith who had her workshop near the University of Costa Rica, where I learned the basics of metallurgy, welding and other techniques. While applying this knowledge in my first projects, I continued taking several more advanced workshops, for example mokumé, agua fuerte and filigree.

"Ever since then, this has been my passion. I have set up a small workshop in my home, There, I have specialized tools and a complete wardrobe of beads and diverse materials, many of which I collected on beaches and roads. I love traveling the world and seeing so many wonders that can be expressed in my jewelry. That is where I get my biggest inspiration. Every day we can appreciate different scenes with the wonder of nature. I usually have several projects going simultaneously, from the initial drawing, cutting the gemstones and sheets, welding, polishing and retouching.

"Traveling has opened my eyes. I've been in places like Ethiopia and Nigeria where life is very hard and, many times, the role of women is not appreciated. So I decided to create a cooperative of women. In the future, I hope to have a large group and teach them silver work, give workshops and make it possible for them to learn a trade where they can have a fixed income to support their families.

"I design and create for women who value beauty and originality."
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