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Anita Contreras

Artisan Organization: Anita Contreras

Country: Peru

"I was born in Ayacucho province in 1975. Ayacucho is known for the subtle beauty of its traditional homes, for its breathtaking landscapes crowned with blue skies and surrounded by endless valleys.

"My parents worked tirelessly to give us an education. My childhood took place in complicated times during a period of economic instability during the 1980s and '90s. My family was greatly affected by this and we bought as little as possible, making many sacrifices to face the crisis.

"Despite it all, I was a happy girl. I liked ceramics and was curious about how they were crafted. I was born in an artisan village, so how could I not love this art?

"I was captivated by the power to shape clay, and fascinated by colors and paints. I realized I had the talent and ability to develop my own designs and do so with care, love and passion. I think this is the key to quality. Being a detail-oriented person led me to become a perfectionist in my technique and, over time, I mastered this art and continue learning day by day.

"I especially like how clay is malleable and easy to mold. I'm inspired by traditional Peruvian pottery, and I like to craft churches and little bulls, and to depict our lovely landscapes.

"To start working on my own has required to perseverance. I've had to train a lot and not stop working on what I'm passionate about. It's taken effort and dedication to achieve my goals.""