Born in Ayacucho in 1949, Tiberio Gonzales began observing the handicrafts of his hometown at the age of 18 and found them fascinating. But he moved to Lima to find work. "By chance, they...
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Born in Ayacucho in 1949, Tiberio Gonzales began observing the handicrafts of his hometown at the age of 18 and found them fascinating. But he moved to Lima to find work. "By chance, they offered me a job cutting gemstones and, thanks to my teacher, I learned the craft," he recalls. "I love the gems of Peru with all their beautiful colors. I worked with that teacher for five years and decided to learn the jeweler's art. That's when I discovered the true value and beauty of stones – each one encloses an infinity of colors and tonalities. You can see their natural landscape when you closely observe the stones.
"I decided to venture out on my own and set up a workshop. I did everything myself, from creating the design to crafting the final piece, and really enjoyed it. My inspiration comes from the stones. When I hold them in my hands, I see what that particular gem is best suited for and how to develop the piece. I combine them with Peruvian silver, and this is how each of my creations is born. I try to use the natural elements in different and unusual ways, with the authenticity of Peru in my style.
"When I met my wife, Victoria, she was working in a company that manufactured women's clothing. She knits beautifully! Sometime later she decided to join me in crafting jewelry. Today she has designed many of the models we develop in our workshop. Our three children – Frank, Ali and Liz – also inherited our love for this art and today they're part of our team and help in many ways. From the time Ali was a boy, he'd watch me work for hours. Now he crafts pieces of his own and helps with the commercial part of the family craft."