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Flora Maria

Artisan Organization: Flora Maria

Country: Mexico

To her friends, Flora Maria is a highly creative and hard-working person whom they regard as a good friend. Born in Guadalajara, she lived in the southern state of Chiapas were her two daughters were born. Chiapas is also the place that saw her start in the world of jewelry crafting.

Returning to Guadalajara was a personal challenge for everything that it implied, as well as having to start my work in jewelry all over again, the artisan recalls.

Now my dream is for my workshop to grow and for my work to be known, so that the people who work with me may also grow and have better wages.

I learned about jewelry making at a very young age from my family, however I never thought it would be something I'd want as my profession. I originally studied architecture but, when I moved to Chiapas I came upon Mexican amber and it awoke in me my dormant knowledge about jewelry.

I'm the third generation in a family of jewelers, and everything I know I owe to my father, Francisco Sanchez, who has long been another featured artist. He also taught me about perseverance, and about being original and creative in order to give life meaning. I inherited his zest for life too.

Designing jewelry has become my passion, and it grows with each passing day. It's my way of expressing what I love and believe in, such as ecosystems, nature and world cultures.

I've been dedicated to this art since the 1980s, and I've never stopped updating my models and designs. My interest in art is continuous, especially contemporary jewelry, and I enjoy exploring how to integrate new ideas. That's why I keep taking courses in a variety of techniques such as enamel with fire, wax, and those developed by master jewelers.

My preferred materials are sterling silver, amber from Chiapas polished by Mexican hands, and natural gems. I have recently begun incorporating leather in the design of bracelets and necklaces with power animals. And the technique I use most is lost wax.

Creating new collections is a challenge, but I am also passionate about planning it, coming up with a theme, sketching it, researching the best techniques and solving any complications may arise. I'm inspired by nature, world communities and Mexican culture in particular. I admire the riches of our planet, the flora, orchids, sacred plants and especially the animals that represent human values.

My daughters are a big part of my designs, to the point that some of my collections have been designed from their childhood drawings.

Working on my own has allowed me to take my creativity and work along the paths I chose. Now I work with a team of 19 wonderful women who contribute their own creativity and abilities to the crafting of my jewelry designs."