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Mariana Barranco

Mariana Barranco

"My art is a reflection of my culture and my state, as well as a reminder to never forget where we come from. My inspiration is Mexico and my culture, especially Oaxaca's."

"I was born in the city of Oaxaca and my whole life has been linked to the arts, specifically dancing. I practically... grew up in a dance studio where I learned all types of dance, from ballet to folkloric dance. In fact, it was folkloric dance that led me to discover the world of arts and crafts and I began to learn more about it when I was a teenager.

"Back then mother had a boutique and that's how I also got interested in designing, and in commerce. Dad's hobby was to design home furniture and build model airplanes, so he had a workshop which I found fascinating. I would help him whenever he needed me.

"I specialize in silver jewelry inlaid with dried gourds or black ceramic. I studied business administration and marketing and I decided to combine all of my talents and skills – those I was born with and the ones I learned. In 1998 my husband and I decided to move to the city of Monterrey where I decided to start my own venture. I began promoting traditional Oaxaca crafts and I learned to craft ceramic by hand and with the potter's wheel. My first piece was a flower pot.

"Ten years later I decided to concentrate on smaller pieces, such as jewelry, and I created a collection bearing my name. The first piece I made was a necklace I called 'Diana' in honor of the friend who encouraged me to explore designing jewelry. Not long after she got very ill and passed away. I gave the necklace to her parents, and the flower pot I left with some friends when I decided to leave Monterrey as symbol of the happy life I had there.

"In 2011 I exhibited my collection 'Reflections' in Madrid featuring black ceramic and silver. In February of 2012 I won 2nd place in the jewelry category at Mexico's ENART arts and crafts fair.

"Given the demand for my products, I am now in a position to offer work to talented artisans from my community. In essence my products are natural since I work with black ceramics and painted dried gourds. My techniques are completely hand crafted. Through my designs I aim to preserve the style and form of Mexico's traditional arts and crafts, which I highly respect.

"My art is a reflection of my culture and my state, as well as a reminder to never forget where we come from. My inspiration is Mexico and my culture, especially Oaxaca's.

"When I first started out I met artisan Pedro Torres, and we've become good friends ever since. He believed in my project and together we embarked in this new venture. It gives me great satisfaction to know that through this project I was able to help him build his own home and now his kids are in college: his two sons are studying architecture and his daughter wants to study medicine. I don't think there's something more rewarding than being able to contribute to a person's growth. We're practically family!

"I am very happy to be a part of Novica's project and for the opportunity to have my collections known so people can acquire jewelry pieces that are crafted with much love toward Mexico’s people and arts. Thank you, thank you…!"
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