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The son of a farmer, Om learnt stone cutting when young. He first specialized in carving crystal Gods for the temples, but now runs a small workshop in Sanganer, just outside Jaipur. He has a wonderful sensitivity to stones and has worked with us for over twenty years.
"Cutting each gem, following its individual, organic shape and giving the merest hint of enhancement with the subtlest facets, he elicits a gentle sparkle from each. As the years have passed, we have experienced many of life’s adventures together. He has had two children, one a jewellery design student, the other, a training accountant." - Pippa Small
Om now has a team who has learnt his skills, shares his respect and understanding for these organic jewels and together, they continue to do a wonderful job.
Born in Jaipur, Sushil and Pippa have worked together for about 15 years. Sushil learned his skill from his family, his uncle Khen Raj who was a master goldsmith and has been a goldsmith for 25 years.
He specialises in hand work and is very proud and loves his work. Sushil and Pippa have spent many hours studying seeds, leaves and flowers to replicate these minute miracles of nature in gold. He has a wonderful instinctive sense of beauty, proportion, balance and harmony in design.
Like many of the most renowned goldsmiths in Myanmar, Tin Win comes from Ramree Island, Rakhine State. He grew up immersed in the goldsmith life, with a thin line between the workshop and the playground. It was the wish of his parents that he became a goldsmith, and he moved to Yangon in 1996 to study under the master U Kyaw Than.
He brings a deep philosophy and creativity to his work best expressed in his own words, “The most important thing of handmade jewellery is how you use your mind. You need to be creative, think about the form, structure, beauty and use of one piece. You need to think and make. Brain and hands”.
With over 20 years of experience, Ko Tin Win is now a master goldsmith working at the Turquoise Mountain workshop. He has helped create iconic pieces designed in collaboration with Pippa.
An Aymara Indian from Bolivia, Javier is the son of a Gold miner who began working in the mines of Tipuwani himself, at a very young age. He later moved onto goldsmithing and now has a tiny workshop in Miraflores near the coca market. From this little space, he makes beautiful creations for the indigenous Chola ladies of La Paz who invest heavily in the precious metal.
His wife, working as a domestic worker in Madrid, has been gone for many years. So he has had to raise their sons alone.
Javier enjoys creating beautiful, yet simple, earthy, natural forms deeply inspired by the pre-Colombian Goldwork of his ancestors and we love working with him.
David, a talented artisan, learned goldsmithing from his family and works with his brothers in a small workshop in Tumaco. He is also a fisherman who whenever he can, takes his boat out onto the pacific to fish. He works with his brothers and team to create traditional fine filigree work for the local market. He shared with Pippa stories of mermaids, specifically the myth of a mermaid that has been seen bathing in the river now named after her.
For our Colombian collection, he made a beautiful gold mermaid with delicate filling in her tail, a seahorse, and a fish charm that he placed on a handmade chain.
Wilmar Marquinez, 50 years old. Born in Tumaco, and raised in Barbacoas, the ancestral capital of gold panning and Afro jewellery. Willmar’s artistic creative mind and highly skilled technique developed over 30 years, allow him to develop the most unique filigree shapes and patterns. Wilmar dominates all the local jewellery techniques, but he mostly works in filigree which is also his favourite technique. His dream is to become an independent jeweller and save money to invest in his own home. "Keep treasuring these ancestral jewels so that jewellers like me can continue dedicating our lives to this art" is his message to Pippa’s customers.
For our Colombian collection, he made the peacock necklace, using skilled filigree work to fill the tail and wings of this intricate pendant. He also incorporated this spectacular bird into a ring and earring design. The Peacock symbolizes beauty and love and is inspired by a traditional local ancient design.
Leonel Cuero started making jewellery at the age of 16. He began handcrafting chains and then filigree jewels. The joy of his clients receiving the jewellery he made led him to dedicate himself completely to this art. Leonel is a master goldsmith who created the complex 'Together Forever' necklace — taking a few days to weave together the gold links that make a beautifully soft woven chain that lies seductively on the neck. This is a traditional chain used for people to invest their money safely for future use or to be passed down through the generations. The necklace gets smoother and softer with age and holds each wearer's story.
Henry Paz, 45 years old, works in Tumaco with his wife and makes beautiful, skilled, traditional pieces. His first teacher at the age of 15 years was his mother and later he learned to weave chains, filigree and casting from Maestro Leonel Valencia. He also knows gem setting and has been a jeweller for more than 30 years now.
Henry worked on a filigree leaf necklace for our Colombian collection, inspired by the beautiful tropical nature surrounding him.
Eber, a skilled goldsmith who has worked with gold most of his life, works alone in a small workshop. He shared stories with Pippa that illustrated how central gold is to his life. When he was young, he entered a raffle and won a gold chain with a medal of the Madonna on it. His stories illustrated the power of gold and how it can be used for good by sharing how his chain has helped him through his life. When he needed cash for school or any urgent needs, he would take his precious chain to the pawn dealer, who would lend him money until he could repay him. His chain always helped him.
For our Colombian collection, he made a gold Cacao Pod skillfully hammered with brass seeds inside that rattle like a real pod. Cacao has been a huge cash crop in the region, and the pod is a familiar sight in the markets.