Wednesday, February 29, 2012

AFRICA BARRERA

Sterling Silver Dazzle Chain Necklace
It is flanked by a cathedral, a palace, and federal district buildings and it is among the world’s largest city squares. 

This square is known as the Z√≥calo located in “the heart” of Mexico City, Mexico.  Mexico is also home to featured jewelry designer Africa Barrera.

Classic jewelry design can come in many forms: from the generic and mundane to the elegant and radiant. 

Barrera adds a subtle boldness to this design style.  Her gleaming sterling silver jewelry is characterized by contrasting surface textures in a single design.  There is hammered and polished; oxidized and polished; and brushed-matte and polished.

For me sterling silver evokes crystal clear, still water.  Its refined, soothing tone is associated with strength and restraint.  Barrera cultivates the metal’s icy tones into link bracelets, silver rings, and silver chain necklaces that are sleek, contemporary yet ultimately everyday.

Sterling Silver Force of Attraction Wrap Ring
Barrera’s sources of inspiration are courtesy of cobblestone streets, intergalactic constellations, and the Queen of Diamonds.  The former communications major attributes her passion for jewelry design to her mother. 

“As a designer I am self-taught and I loved handicrafts ever since I can remember.  My mother worked in the field of traditional arts,” says the native of Taxco, Mexico.

“She taught me how to tell the difference between a quality, well-made product and a low quality one.  Jewelry was always my favorite—from designing to casting in silver.” 

Working alongside her husband, “a proud silversmith,” Barrera has designed jewelry for over twenty years with the goal of preserving one of Taxco’s enduring handicrafts: silversmithing.

Sterling Silver Taxco Paths Cuff Bracelet
“Taxco is known throughout the world for its quality silver. 

My husband and I set up our one little family workshop where we work the silver until it becomes a decorative piece of ingenious beauty.”
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