"I have been fascinated with the charm of natural gemstones since I was young. Each stone has its own beauty and uniqueness. Even cuts from the same stone, they each have a different character, their own charm. I started collecting gemstones little by little, as well as learning about them from books.<br><br>"I'm Saranarat Ratanaporn, born in Bangkok and a graduated of Chiang Mai University with a bachelor's degree from the Humanities faculty. Right after my graduation, I started to work in Bangkok in interior design for a while, until making jewelry took up all of my time. <br><br>"In olden days, gemstone jewelry was regarded as expensive, elegant fine jewelry. The stone was perfectly cut into shape, so it was not suitable for everyday wear. However I like the natural look of the stone, or with very little enhancements.<br><br>"I started to make jewelry for myself by knitting, tie and threading. I highlighted the charm and the beauty of the stone as much as possible. People loved my jewelry so much so, that they often asked to buy it. So I started making jewelry on the side, creating original designs different from the fine jewelry others were already wearing. <br><br>"Once, I made a special necklace design for a competition organized by OTOP - One Tambon One Product - an entrepreneurship stimulus program aimed at supporting locally made and marketed products of each Thai <i>tambon</i> (subdistrict). My necklace got awarded five-stars!<br><br>"A year later, I made bag from coconut shell. I knitted the shoulder bag with beautiful gemstones. I received the award again. During that time I received a lot of attention from several types of media, including TV and magazines, who came to interview me. Since then I quit my job as an interior designer, and started to design and work with jewelry full time. I also enrolled in a gemstone institute in order to enhance my knowledge. <br><br>"I love and enjoy making jewelry. I am lost in concentration whenever I'm designing jewelry. I never feel bored even though it may take a very long time to complete a piece. Some pieces have a lot details and require more complexity in the knitting or bending wire. But it's always fun to do. Some pairs of earrings could take up to one day to finish. I feel encouraged every time my customers show their appreciation toward my products.<br><br>"I currently work with a team of 20 women who play an important role in the crafting of my jewelry designs. Every piece has different details. Some of the pieces may require bending wire over 100 times, which can take several days. The women are happy to work with beautiful designs, they feel refreshed and excited every time they take on a new design. They are constantly practicing and working to ensure top quality in their work. I think that to have a good colleague is extremely good luck.<br><br>"I always follow fashion trends in order to design jewelry that is up to date.<br><br>"When I feel discouraged or feel tired of work, I usually look at my gemstone collection, such as the Buddha image carved from natural stone and I always feel better and relaxed. It inspires me.<br><br>"I am glad that my work will be featured on your website and I look forward to receiving your support, thanks very much."
In the Andes, the Land of the Four Corners, mountains are sacred. So is culture. The Nazca lines, the Wari glyphs, the Quipu knots and the complex multi-colored textiles of the Incas are all recorded and live on the work of contemporary Peruvian artisans.