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Roxana de Papadopolo

Artisan Organization: Roxana de Papadopolo

Country: Central America

"I grew up with my parents. Although neither was artistic, they supported me in my interest in the arts. From the time I was a child, I loved arts and crafts. All my life, I've felt a great need to create, to design, to innovate and experiment with new materials.

"I began in school by painting a horse in India ink, and I won a prize for my work. This was a great motivation and, over the years, I've continued to learn and discover many things about handicrafts. I learn from the artisans I work with and I teach them what I know. I do a lot of research, and practice until I achieve what I have in mind.

"I've worked with artisans since 1985. My husband is a huge source of support. We work together to develop the projects that are created by our collaborators, who have a great artistic sensitivity and a passion for their crafts.

"I use materials that are readily available here, such as clay, paraffin and pieces of wood and other materials to mold and shape our master designs. We also use plaster and resins we obtain locally. For our ceramics, we use the traditional potter's wheels from Rabinal. This is quite satisfying to me. What I like best of my art is using natural materials and exalting our culture, so rich in traditions. Through my designs, I want to share a bit of Guatemala – some of the meaning of our country and our ancestral legacy.

"Thankfully, I've had more satisfaction in life than difficult moments. I've been blessed in my family and in my professional life. I'm a dynamic woman, determined, and satisfied with my work. It's given me the opportunity for personal development in what I love to do, and the passion I bring to each project.

"When I'm creating a new design, I feel transported and visualize many artist images. It's a moment of magic. My dream is for our crafts and designs to be seen and appreciated in the whole world.

"I love it when people learn how we produce each and every piece, and the sensation a totally handcrafted object transmits… the feeling that comes from knowing that a piece of art was lovingly and painstakingly molded by someone's own hands.""