We had the good fortune of connecting with jimena rios and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi jimena, what is the most important factor behind your success?
I started Taller Eloi, my jewelry school 10 years ago. During this period it has changed its form adapting to times and circumstances but the main factor of our success is that we are a great team, students, teachers, guest teachers; we are a family and all have a deep sense of community. All the members of the group have different backgrounds and share their knowledge to enhance everyone’s work. We are aware of being part of a larger community and as makers we have a responsibility to share the trade and make our craft in a respectful way. In my personal work as a jeweler I feel the same, I rarely work alone. My pieces are always the result of collaborations with colleagues (photographers, designers, makers from other crafts) and this allows my pieces to open up a larger space for the viewer to engage in the conversation
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Since, as a discipline, contemporary jewelry is relatively new to Argentina, formal training in this field can only be received abroad or at schools dedicated exclusively to the trade. This means that people who attend my school or work with me come from different disciplines. As a result of the jewelry we make is the product of a sum of identities, the craftsmanship, and materials each artist is most familiar with. I encourage my students to work in an honest way, to find their own voice and to remember that since the beginning of time jewelry has played an important role in society as a system of communication. The pieces we make will be used to show love, affection, commitment, friendship, and for that reason they must be done with love and care. My jewelry school and store are based in Buenos Aires, Argentina where economical crisis and inflation are part of our daily life. Starting a business in these conditions is not easy but it makes you more creative to overcome changes. Being in South America, “far away” from where trends are set is challenging but also gives us the chance to start a new conversation.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Taller Eloi is located in the outskirts of Buenos Aires, in a very quite area with nice trees so first off I would suggest a walk around the neighborhood, have a coffee in the old fashioned bars, visit the hardware stores, go to the bakery, and have a picnic by the river. Buenos Aires is a very big city founded by immigrants with a rich cultural history so the immigrants museum is a must, it has not only a historical collection but has an amazing contemporary art exhibition. We should definitely go to the jewelry supplies area in the city center and spend time visiting all the antique stores and the workshops where the traditional makers still make and repair jewelry. And then I would suggest to walk around and be open to all the experiences the city can offer.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
As a teacher I must say that my students play an important role in my projects. Our conversations, their work, and the exchange between them is a big inspiration. We spend a lot of time together and help each other without hierarchies. I have been very lucky with the teachers I had when I was a students and the institutions where I’ve studied. I am very grateful to Escola Massana in Barcelona and Alchimia jewelry school in Florence. And in recent years Iris Eichenberg, an artist I admire since I was a student, has become a crucial person in my career and the best partner to work with.
Küche Carolina Colemenero