“My name is Ruben Loayza Contreras. I was born in the village of Quinua, located in the Ayacucho province of Peru. I consider myself to be a very noble, responsible, hardworking, and innovative man who is always seeking new ideas.
“My village is very beautiful. It maintains its colonial heritage, with cobbled streets, houses with tiled roofs, and churches of stone. This village conserves the spirit of the best ceramists of Peru. I feel very proud to belong to this beautiful land, despite the hard times that I have been through. I have lived through times of terrorism; in this area, there were times when my family and I had to escape violence and death.
“All of this began with my family. The tradition comes from my great-grandparents, grandparents, and my parents, who created this ceramic art. Alongside them, I learned the techniques from a young age, helping with chores in the house and in the workshop where they developed their pieces. From a very young age, I was attracted by the colors of the material; with ceramic, it is easy to design any type of representation, figure, or object. Ceramic is simple, and it is also a great way to embellish our environment.
“I was taught by my parents and my older brothers, who introduced me to this beautiful world of art, and I remain fascinated by it to this very day. When I begin painting to create the textures and finish of a piece, I never cease to amaze myself. I create each piece with beauty, passion, and love, sharing a part of myself and the customs of my village.
“My inspiration comes from the place where I was born. Despite the bad times we had to go through, the beauty of our village’s landscapes never dissipated, its pampas and skies like the ocean, its animals and life full of natural beauty. This is what I conserve in order to create each piece.
“My plans for the future are to continue working and dedicating my art to this beautiful work, offering live workshops and spreading it not only locally, but throughout the entire country and the whole world. I dream of selling my pieces in greater markets with my personal trademark reflected in each piece. I hope to achieve recognition, admiration, and respect for my art and for Peruvian art as a whole.
“I love being able to share my art with people who want to learn. It is because of this that I give workshops here in the capital, Lima, so that young adults and everyone else can attend and learn this beautiful art passed down by our ancestors. I feel very thankful towards Novica, which has welcomed me with happiness and has opened the doors to a market that I never imagined. I am very thankful for this great opportunity.”