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Jael Serna

Jael Serna

"I'm inspired by the things I see around me, by situations and experiences and by my feelings. In all my work, I try to share a memory of mine using Peruvian silver and gemstones."

"I'm proactive, kind and have a great artistic sensitivity. I was born in Lima in 1975. "My life hasn't been easy at... "I'm proactive, kind and have a great artistic sensitivity. I was born in Lima in 1975.

"My life hasn't been easy at all. In fact, life was complicated during the period of terrorism and civil war that devastated Peru. I felt like I had no future. For me, this was a very dark time with few opportunities for young people like me.

"At times like that, you need to keep a cool head and lay out the goals you hope to achieve. That's what I did and, little by little, I was able to overcome the difficulties.

"My plans and my future are based on my past. I hope to finish the degree in art and design that I started in 2013. I can say it's almost a dream come true. Then I hope to apply everything I've learned in handicrafts and, especially, jewelry where I hope for greater growth.

"In addition to jewelry, I'm interested in the handicrafts I loved when I was a teen. This was reinforced in my youth when I met a master artisan who lived nearby and I asked him to make a piece of jewelry for me. It didn't come out the way I'd requested and he made it over three times. I still didn't like the results — not for the technique but for the design. Finally, he asked me, 'Why don't you make it?'

"And that's when my story in the world of jewelry began.

"When I crafted my first designs, I knew this was what I wanted to do. I wanted to design and develop jewelry. This art lets me express the images in my mind and in my heart. It gives me the freedom to work with such a malleable material. Shaping it and achieving the designs I want is most gratifying.

"When I first began, I studied with Teofilo Salazar from Cajamarca, but then I enrolled in a school in Callao where I learned basic jewelry. As soon as I finished, I was asked to teach a summer course there. It was so well-accepted, I taught it for two years.

"Then I retired because I'd rather create jewelry and be able to develop my own designs. This is my true passion.

"To become a master jeweler, I had to learn more. The basics weren't enough so I began to look for workshops so I could increase my skills. I found that studying is very different from learning in an actual workshop. I worked in some seven jewelry studios in a lapse of five years, alternating with filling small orders I was taking. These years helped me so much! I learned many different techniques and increased my speed. I still apply these techniques.

"I especially like how easy Andean silver is to work with and that I can create my designs in a material everyone can use.

"The trickiest part is soldering the silver, but the entire crafting process requires a lot of attention to create a design that brings joy to its wearer.

"I'm inspired by the things I see around me, by situations and experiences and by my feelings. In all my work, I try to share a memory of mine using Peruvian silver and gemstones."
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