Juan Contreras from Peru

is the artisan in the spotlight this week

Artisan Juan Contreras

Juan Contreras and his wife Rosario used to run a clothing shop, but financial hardship struck and things were not going well for them. Friends suggested the art of jewelry design, and Juan grappled with the decision for years. It was a world he absolutely knew nothing of, yet offered myriad creative possibilities.

Rosario was eager to design jewelry, and at first they relied on expert silversmiths. Little by little, however, Juan became fascinated with the process and became an eager student -- he is now passionate about designing as well as crafting his own jewelry. Juan's style is different than his wife's, and they both couldn't be prouder to see how far they have come after such humble and shy incursions into jewelry making.

It's been 12 years now, and to Juan it's the best decision he could have taken, and he is driven by a desire to excel in this art. His aim is to transmit beauty and quality. He faces the constant challenge of keeping up with current trends as well as creating new and original designs. Now his work can be appreciated in important exhibits -- another reason for Juan to be proud and have no regrets about the decision it was once so hard to make.

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