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Our 2-story workshop, Antigua, pt. 2 of 4 - *1.5 min read*

Our 2-story workshop, Antigua

Our beautiful workshop has two floors of pure joy. And truth be told, it's any artist's dream. This is where we hand-make our ceramic beads™, our wearable art, and home decor art.

Below is a photo of our Kiln-oven that bakes the ceramic beads and sculptures at very high temperatures. 



We have a crew of 4 artisans working here almost every day. Don Jaime, founder and designer of Los Colores, designs, delegates, and oversees the production of the beads.


Marisol is Jaime's right-hand. She is very strong and good with her hands. She does a lot of sculpturing, painting, and she works on Jaime's special projects (home decor, wall art etc.). 



Miriam, our earring talent, has a specialty within textile, stitching, and wiring. She makes almost all of our earring styles except the classic woven/fringe earrings. She is a single mother with four younger boys.

 

Santos below makes all of our ceramic beads. He is the hands executing our special pre-Hispanic technique of creating unique ceramic beads. He also does a lot of sculpturing and clay-work in general.



Then we have our lead artisan, Doña Maria (on image 1 below), and her adult children (one of them is Cristian on image 2 below) from our artisan community in Solola. They come to Antigua and stay Thursday-Sunday every week. They have their own room in the worksop because their village, El Tablón, is 3 hrs away so the commute 3-4 days a week would be too much.

Instead, Doña Maria brings material home to her community of artisans and then she comes back with beautiful, fresh collections of earrings, bags/purses, embroideries etc. (more on this amazing community in the next blog post).

  
María is very camera shy so as much as we want to show her and her work all the time, we also have to respect her wishes. 

Support these talented artisans when you shop with us:




Would you believe us if we told you that all of the bags above each contain about 10-15 kgs of ceramic beads in various sizes? And this is not even the entire room.

The reason why we have so many beads is that Jaime likes to keep the artisans working so Santos is always creating beads - from the looks of it, sometimes faster than the other artisans are creating jewelry. Our bead-making technique is also very refined so it's a super efficient process, albeit handmade.


Above is part of Don Jaime's collection of ancient ceramic sculptures he keeps in the workshop as a reminder of all the ceramic artisans that came before and paved the way for us to make the art we do today.



We can't show you a lot about how we create the smaller beads as this information is confidential but we can show you how we make the ceramic sculptures on this table. They are hand-rolled and carved on a table like above. Then we paint them and incorporate them in our work.

Our workshop always has things going on and Jaime spends all day from 6:30am to 5pm except when he walks back to our house and has breakfast at 9:30am. It's just a convenient 5 mins away from the workshop.



Above is Diana (Jaime's youngest daughter) deciding which embroidered birds that will be the best as earrings to match some bird necklaces, together with Doña Maria. 

Below is Nicolas (Jaime's youngest son) discussing some earring design and colors together with Jaime. We are a family-business and all of the family spends a lot of time in the workshop helping out.



Oh, and I almost forgot to tell you about our most important workshop members! Our three rescue dogs spends all their day-time in the workshop as well with Jaime and the rest of the crew.
  
 

This is the kind of "work" Las Perritas (the female doggies) like to do when in the workshop. Their names are Pola, Sinve (Simbe), and Turing.

Thanks for taking the time to get to know us! Saludos from the full workshop team.





Next week, in our series of "What we do outside the webshop", we will tell you all about our community activities around the famous Lago Atitlán.