Casa Kiro Joyas is a home workshop located in Viña del Mar, in the coastal region of Valparaíso, Chile, where architect and jewellery designer Vania Ruiz creates and handcrafts a unique, beautiful and innovative style of jewelry. Pieces are conceived from her constant search to put into value typical natural Chilean elements, yet nontraditional in jewelry, that have been either underappreciated, ignored or forgotten.
These materials, ranging from Mapuche cooking ingredients to traditional crops from the country side, are personally collected by the designer in local markets and the surrounding area, to be then rediscovered as precious elements. Carefully composed and preserved in colored resin and structured with sterling silver, these small worlds emerge from the artist’s memories and mental images of her visits around the diverse Chilean territory.
Cochayuyo is a particular type of kelp that grows in the Chilean coasts. It has highly nutritious qualities, which made it one of the basic ingredients of the Mapuche cuisine. Nowadays, it’s regularly consumed by the Chilean population, but due to its strong taste and smell, you can either love it or hate it. It contains large amounts of air that once inside the resin, are released to turn into shiny bubbles of a fascinating texture.
Curahuilla is a crop used to feed farm animals and to produce handmade brooms from the twigs. The seeds, that resemble a flower about to blossom, are arranged into beautiful geometries, creating translucent atmospheres.
Merkén is a chili powder spice coming from traditional Mapuche cuisine. Because it’s made out or red peppers, it has very warm colurs ranging from orange to burgundy.
Quinua is a cereal that has been grown in the Andes for thousands of years. Nowadays, it’s nutricios virtues has made it popular all over the world.
Picorocos are a rare Chilean species of edible crustaceous that grow shells around them, and tend to develop in clusters, creating marvelous shapes. Collected in local fish markets under the incredulous looks of fishermen, these shells have been used either naturally, or as models to cast out delicate replicas in silver, intervened with resin or enameled.
Since 2009, Vania Ruiz work has been exhibited and published in Chile, Argentina, Perú, Italy, Spain, Belgium and England, bringing into the light pieces that tell new stories from ancient lands.
Exhibition curated by Thereza Pedrosa.
Visit also the previous virtual exhibitions.