"Being an artisan is exciting, fun and motivational for me. I know that I'll see results are in proportion to my efforts and that motivates me to be a better person everyday."
"My name is Angel Ortiz and I'm from Mexico. My love for the art of silver jewelry is a family inheritance, chiefly from my mother who taught me this craft.
"Since 1986, I've been learning from my mother, from the artisans who collaborate with her, and in the Escuela de Artes Plásticas de la UNAM. I've been learning as I go, since I live in the middle of Taxco, one of the most important centers in the world for silver jewelry.
"I find inspiration in everything around me — the people I love, nature and our rich Mexican culture. All of this has the potential for inspiring new designs for many years.
"I mostly work with silver but, since 2014, I've been experimenting with other metals like copper, tin, alpaca and tumbaga, a gold and copper alloy developed in pre-Hispanic times. I also use gems, crystals, seeds, leather, synthetic leather, rubber, cords and suede.
"I enjoy my work and I'd like to do it for the rest of my life. Through this work, I hope to contribute something to society. I've been thinking about creating a jewelry collection depicting endangered animals to raise awareness of their plight.
"My father died recently. I lived with him from the time of his diagnosis, and being with him up until his final moments was a powerful experience. It has given me peace and wisdom to keep doing good things in this world. He was a strong man who fought against his cancer and was able to conquer it. When he passed away, it was from old age, but not from cancer. Each day it seems there's less humanity and, because of that, I'd like to help try to avoid or slow down what my species does to this planet, as we sometimes seem to simply destroy everything around us.
"Being an artisan is exciting, fun and motivational for me. I know that I'll see results in proportion to my efforts and that motivates me to be a better person everyday. I also love being free to work and create new things on my own schedule, which allows me to spend time with the people I love.
"It's a challenge to keep working with joy, dedication and love every day of my life. I try to think about each day as if it were my first and, at the same, the last. I think this art requires honesty, dedication and commitment
"I see my work as an opportunity to generate jobs for my community, as well as contributing toward a better image for my country by crafting high-quality jewelry that exemplifies the traditional art of Mexico."