Monday, July 30, 2018

Inside the Artist's Studio: Handmade Jewelry by Claudia Vallejo

Perhaps you've seen an accessory so striking its nearly stopped you in your tracks.  In Claudia Vallejo's line of handcrafted, laser-cut jewelry you'll find plenty of such uniquely stylish stunners. The line both reflects and embodies the ideas and intentions of Claudia, the multifaceted artist at its helm. Today, journey with us to Vallejo's Bogotá, Colombia, workshop for a sneak peek at her creative process.

Skilled artisan's inside the jeweler's workshop
An anthropologist, mother and jeweler, Claudia has a broad experience from which she draws inspiration. She and her team design then handcraft each earring, necklace or bracelet from sturdy steel. The piece is laser-cut, polished and manipulated into shape by folding and bending.  Finally, it is polished again or powder-coated with a paint, according to the designer's objectives.

Designs in progress

Claudia explains that her "life and work are one...a continuous expression of experiences, thoughts and feelings." Part of what differentiates Claudia and her distinctive designs is that although she went to art school, she has no formal training as a designer. This has kept her creative process independent, guided by passion and intuition. Each abstract piece simultaneously demonstrates dynamic engergy and subtle serenity.

A family affair: Claudia's daughter helps at a photo shoot

Always adhering to a fair trade philosophy, Claudia strives to use only responsibly-sourced, sustainable materials and employs local craftspeople in her workshop. Fair trade principles ensure proper pay, safe working conditions, ongoing training and education, no child labor, and respect for the environment.

The designer at a market

In this way, Vallejo's jewelry helps fashion a better world. Now that's some fine design!

Triple Double Oval Necklace / Double Oval Earring

For more details on Claudia's jewelry:

To view our entire collection of unique gifts, visit the Museum Shop online:

Proceeds from all purchases support the Art Institute of Chicago's many programs.

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