Do you agree with these statements?
"Ceramic is heavy"
"Ceramic loses its color"
"Ceramic is fragile"
We can tell you this much; for our jewelry, all three statements are pretty much wrong.
Ceramic is normally something you find in colorful tiles on a bathroom floor or a kitchen wall.
Maybe you even have a beautiful vase or ancient sculptures in ceramic, like the ones shown above from our collection of ancient Mayan sculptures.
But did you know that ceramic has so many other uses?
Let's dig into how we use it in our jewelry.
If you've been with us for a while, you know that our jewelry has three main components; traditional textiles and jade from Guatemala, and ceramic.
We use ceramic in two ways; sculptures and beads that come in various shapes and sizes.
The above picture shows some of the shapes of our beads. This is the natural color of ceramic before it is dyed.
The round sculptures in the top are hand-rolled and carved with traditional symbols from indigenous cultures in Latin America.
These are mainly used for our drop earrings sold in our shop in Antigua.
The smaller, rounded beads are also handmade.
We use these to do beaded crochet around patches of textile, to decorate the enclosure of a necklace string, or as one-line bracelets.
The beads above are our signature ceramic beads that come in many sizes and colors as shown.
We cannot share a lot about the making of these except that they are handmade and very durable.
Jaime Vargas, designer and founder of Los Colores, spent many years refining this process with local artisans from all over Latin America.
They are used as fringes for our earrings, bead-embroideries, curtains with lines of beads, in bracelets, and the list goes on...
We dye our beads in all the colors of the earth which is why we are called Los Colores de la Tierra.
We arrange them perfectly in enchanting patterns and styles.
And you might think that our jewelry is heavy. But, FORGET what you know about the weight of ceramic.
This is one of the things Jaime has focused on - how to make beads in ceramic that are lightweight.
It is not heavy as such but we are going to be honest with you.
We want you to be able to feel like you are wearing a natural material from Earth itself.
That means it will never be as lightweight as plastic for example.
And just have a look at the way Jaime and our incredible artisans match the textile, the beads, and the pattern in a symphony of colors.
It is truly mesmerizing if you ask us ;-) One of our customers describes it better;
" The design and craftsmanship honor and elevate the gorgeous textile fragments "
The bigger sculptures are carved out by hand and then hand-painted in beautiful colors.
We match the colors of the sculpture with the design of the final piece.
Usually, this type of sculpture will be inlaid in a vintage piece of textile combined with jade or even other ceramic beads.
The sculpture inlay could look something like below.
Below is a little peek into our stock of ceramic beads and sculptures.
Pre-pandemic, we used to have one of our artisans, Santos, making the beads from Monday to Friday.
During the pandemic, we haven't had the same flow in and out, so we have had to stop making more beads until we have used these.
Thanks for reading along. If you have any questions at all about the materials we use or anything else, please get in contact here.
Los Colores family and artisans