"Now, in my 60's, is when I most treasure what I do, because it has allowed me to bring food to the table, provide my children with an education, and work in something I truly enjoy."
"Thank you for inviting me into your world and for being interested in my story. I was born in a village near Antigua Guatemala, my father Domingo Silva was a bricklayer and my mother a homemaker. I grew up in a loving and numerous family – I had 11 siblings. Four of them have passed away, as well as my parents.
"I remember when I was 17 years old how much I admired the work that my brother, Pedro Silva (Novica featured artisan) was doing, and how he was also succeeding financially. I admired the fact that whereas before he had to go from place to place on his bicycle, he was able to save enough to get a motorcycle. From working in an auto shop, he had started working at a jewelry workshop and was doing well. I told him I wanted to learn and he helped me get a job at the workshop.
"Thanks to the help of the workshop owner, the other artisans and especially of Pedro, little by little I learned more and developed my skills. I have fond memories of the time I made my first ring, gold with light green jade.
"After some years, constant training and a lot of effort, I decided to start my own workshop. Like with every new beginning, it was tough at first and I worked very hard to get ahead. But thanks be to God, my parents and wife, it all became possible. It is a constant struggle to keep a small business going, life is expensive and work is not always constant. Materials are expensive and competition is rife. One needs a lot of mental, physical and spiritual fortitude.
"It's been more than 30 years since I got started in handcrafted jewelry. Now that I'm in my 60's is when I most treasure what I do, because it has allowed me to bring food to the table, provide my children with an education, and work in something I truly enjoy.
"I am very grateful to my brother Pedro, because he took it upon himself to teach and guide me as I took my first steps in the world of jewelry making. Eventually my own imagination took over and I started designing my own pieces. And as life would have it, now it's my turn to teach it too. I taught many of the people working with me, and that means they now have the same opportunity to provide for their families like I did.
"Creating new designs is one of the most beautiful aspects of what I do, because that's when I can give free reign to my imagination, and it comes with the challenge of conquering the client's preference.
"I have received several accolades for my work, like diplomas from Guatemala, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Cuba.
"I love spending my free time with my family, and have fun in a healthy way – I enjoy swimming and cycling. I've participated in several international races and I'm in the platinum category. I feel very happy to be able to do all these things and being an active person.
"I feel honored to meet you and show you my art – many thanks!"