San Miguel de Allende Jewelers Collaborate for a Cause
By Anna Louise Judson, photo by Anna Louise Judson
This year, Rural Education Institute (Rural Ed) will present two of San Miguel’s finest jewelers, Claudia Stuart and Matteo de la Plata. Stuart is best known for her handmade glass beads while Matteo de la Plata showcases a variety of jewelry made with silver and other precious stones.
Benefit for Rural Education Institute
Two Jewelers Share Their Work with San Miguel
Thu, Dec 1, 3–6pm
Claudia Stuart’s passion for jewelry making started at a young age. “When I was a little girl I received a wooden bead set for Christmas. I would string them up and undo them countless times. I enjoyed it a lot and looked for other materials to use,” Stuart explained. Stuart creates her own beads from melted glass rods she imports from Venice, Italy, Germany, India, the United States, and beyond.
“What inspires me is my love for God and His great creations, pictures of distant nebulae, the Milky Way, the Northern Lights, the beach, and nature. All of these natural wonders inspire me to replicate their beauty into small glass spheres,” Stuart said. “The molten glass fascinates me as well as the meditative side of creating the beads. People are usually surprised by how long it takes to make one.”
Her greatest influence as an artist has been her husband Bruce Stuart, a prominent Bermudian artist, who paints breathtaking murals. “I create jewelry because it is a lot of fun to make something beautiful. Even if things don’t go as planned, the end product is always wonderful.”
Matteo de la Plata first learned the art of welding and silver through the mentorship of the Gomez family, four silversmiths from San Miguel de Allende. “They taught me the classic way to work hard and make great jewelry as well as how to treat my client correctly. Not only are these men awesome metalsmiths; they also have a golden character,” Matteo explained. Matteo finds his inspiration in nature, architecture, colonial designs found throughout the city, and other artists. “I want to create a function from all these inspirations. I want to create art someone will wear, love, and pass down to their daughter and granddaughter.”
Matteo has traveled to amber mines in southern Mexico, opal mines in Querétaro, as well as the country of Lithuania, for Baltic amber. “I source only the most beautiful and high quality stones. I have traveled thousands of miles to please my customers. I want my clients to have the best, so I make the best!”
In addition to creating jewelry, Matteo teaches jewelry classes five days a week in a middle school outside of San Miguel. “To create art is the greatest privilege and pleasure I have known. I make jewelry to satisfy my soul and to share the gift of creating with my clients and students,” Matteo explained.
Rural Education invites you to meet these incredible artists and purchase some of their pieces on Thursday, December 1, from 3 to 6pm. Fifteen percent of the proceeds will go towards Rural Education as they raise money to build community centers for their after school program, which seeks to bridge the education gap in rural Mexico by mentoring students in the campo with English literacy and computer skills. For more information about Rural Ed or the upcoming jewelry show, e-mail email@example.com or visit our website at ruraledmexico.org.