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19.4.13

Raiza Ascanio


Puerto Rican jewelry designer Raiza Ascanio made a creative line of contemporary, playful, one of kind pieces created to tangle you up as soon as you have a glance at them.

Since we first saw her designs at the Mercado SF207, the young artist captured our attention with her beautiful cotton cord thread necklaces and bracelets. In her latest collection “Nudos”, Ascanio played with beautiful colors to create contrast between the simplicity and texture of her designs. 

This organic knots are handcrafted and ensemble with organic materials so its feels as natural on your skin as possible. One of the reasons of Ascanio’s rising development had been the capacity to keep the essence of freedom, one of the things that make us love her proposal.

The creation of something simple, well thought and creative is what we look for in this kind of art. We are completely hooked with this new artist and hope to see more of her in the near future. 


M• Do you come from an artistic background?
RA• My mother is an art teacher for kids and my father a ceramist. I was raised in a free, loving and creative environment that supported the early stages of my artistic expression and development. I currently teach art to children at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art, and it is an eternal source of inspiration to my designs. 

M• Which artists do you love?
RA• So many. First three that came to my mind: Rene Magritte, Yayoi Kusama and Wassily Kandinsky.

M• Your favorite designers?
RA• Some designers I admire are: Lorena Marañón, Maria Cristina Bellucci and Christina Anton's jewelry line Boo and Boo. Their one of a kind handmade design makes me tickle inside.

M• How do you found out that your passion for design?
RA• I have been creating jewelry since childhood. At sixteen, in 2004, I joined Lisa Thon School of Design. That same year I started working in a small local jewelry factory. It has been a wonderful ever-evolving growing experience and I am still learning and changing.

M• Do you have any particular influences?
  
RA• Working with children has influenced me greatly. Their freedom and spontaneity is very hard to achieve and is an object of admiration for me. Motherhood has been a recent inspiration. In my current collection, Nudos, I designed necklaces and bracelets that are stylish but also mom and kid friendly. The choice of cotton cord and cotton thread as main materials make them machine washable and very safe for kids, babies and newborns.  

M• What’s the inspiration behind “Raiza Ascanio Jewelry”?
RA• My inspiration is to create a good quality, easy to wear, one of a kind handcrafted line of jewelry. 

M• What helps you in your creative process?
 
RA• I try a lot of things, sometimes I sketch, sometimes I take a walk, sometimes I drink too much coffee and sometimes I design creative processes. Almost always the process is very spontaneous and involves a lot of trial and error. I have recently documented my design process and will soon publish it in a very fun video titled "Bigotes de Abuelo" which translates to "Grandpa's Mustache". 

M• What are you working on now?
RA• I am currently working on a new collection and learning some new skills. I am also a proud member of Mercado SF 207, an alternative business proposal developed by Matilsha Marxuach and a group of local independent designers. There will be a preview sale of my collection in process at Mercado SF 207 on March 30th from 11am to 6pm. My official web page launches in a few days with details.

M• What distinguishes “Raiza Ascanio Jewelry” from other jewelry brands?
RA• I design esthetically attractive contemporary pieces that at the same time are practical, comfortable and playful.

M• What kind of materials do you like to work with and why?
RA• I love sewing supplies, comfortable machine washable fibers are my favorite. Cotton thread and cord lead Nudos collection. My new designs will explore an environmental friendly approach. I am a conscious consumer and so are my clients who I know will appreciate the upgrade to organic quality materials. 
M• How long have you been working on the line?
RA• The idea of creating Raiza Ascanio Jewelry was born a few months after my son was born; it’s been almost two years now. Life as a mom has made me and my designs transform significantly.  

M• Tell us, what are Raiza Ascanio Jewelry’s plans for the future?
RA• I will be launching a new collection, opening my own workshop in Old San Juan and planning lots of fun events for the summer months. 

M• Where can we find your jewelry?
RA• My collection is available online at ETSY (shop: raizaascanio)
Retailers in Puerto Rico:
Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico, Santurce
Concalma, Old San Juan
Siddhia Hutchinson Fine Art Gallery, Vieques
Calendar of special events 2013:
May 1st: Workshop opening
May 4 and 5: Feria de Arte y Diseño at La Galería Nacional, Old San Juan




Photography Paola Isabel
Model Ileana Mercedes Cabra