Artisan Organization: Cristian Davila
"I was born in the beautiful city of Cuzco on August 17, 1980, where I lived with my parents Efrain Davila Zanoni and Amanda Collantes Medina ‚Äì a teacher with the soul of an artist. I am the youngest of three children; my older sister is Tatiana, my big brother is Efrain.
"When I was a child, I loved to mold figures with clay. I'd make models of surreal towns with fantastic characters, lots of elves, horses, dogs, cowboys, flying horses and sorcerers, all in very small sizes.
"I had a quiet and peaceful childhood in contact with nature, a childhood full of enviable memories thanks to my siblings. I was always very quiet and introverted ‚Äì their complete opposite. They got me away from my mental games and would get me involved in really fun activities. Through junior high school, most of my education was done in a religious school for boys. It was not very stimulating for any activities beyond religion.
"In 1999, I went into the Diego Quispe T'tito de Cusco School of Fine Arts, where it was interesting to be in a place that allowed freedom of expression, being able to speak through form, to experiment with paints, engraving, restoration, photography, ceramics, theater and drawing. My all-time favorite was always sculpting. I graduated in 2004 in visual arts with a major in sculpture and drawing. This is where my academic formation began. But creative development is a lifetime endeavor.
"I did workshops for film and TV scripts in the Amauta Project in Bartolome de las Casas. I began making jewelry in 2001 when Oliver Yabar Paredes got in touch with me after seeing a group of my sculptures that he liked. He proposed that I work for the company where he worked developing sculptures in wax for casting in silver.
"In 2005 I contacted artisan Alex Macedo. We agreed that I would design for him and he'd teach me to make jewelry, and I worked with him for six months. Then I opened up a workshop in Cuzco, and also participated in a jewelry design workshop in Lima.
"Interestingly, it was my father who gave me the first jewelry tool ‚Äì a laminator that I didn't know how to use, as what I knew about jewelry was in lost wax. Having such an interesting tool and not knowing how to use it was frustrating, and it was this frustration that made me decide to learn to make jewelry. This has become one of my main fascinations and my current lifestyle.
"Today I love music and reading, and I have a dog that is my main distraction.
"My jewelry is a reflection of my environment, of my hopes and passions. My designs flatter those who wear them; they are a complement that speaks a little about the person who uses them, not only as an object of luxury. They carry a message. They tell a story.
"What motivates me? Well, you need more than one reason to constantly create new forms and concepts. It's the need I have as an artist to speak and express myself through elements and shapes. I want people to identify themselves with my jewelry and communicate who they are ‚Äì whether formal, casual or extravagant ‚Äì by using it. It's about how you want people to see you and who you want to be.
"For me, jewelry is a language, a form of life that stimulates desire. I live and dream jewelry.
It's the biggest challenges that drive you to achieve your goals. A decisive challenge for me was going against everything to achieve the dream of becoming an artist, and leaving aside other college aspirations. Another challenge was to be taken seriously by opening a company that sells jewelry when I was so young. Because of the clich√©s about dreamy bohemian artists, that one still follows me, but it is only a clich√©.
"Thank you for your support. More importantly, I'd like to tell you that appreciating art is a marvelous gift. Knowing how to understand it is a true virtue.""