more about…..Sonia and Hilda Cachi and our stone and silver critters

We have introduced Sonia and Hilda Cachi in an earlier post. They are our favourite silversmiths with whom we were seemingly fated to work. As we wrote in an earlier blog, a shaman sealed the deal for us and how lucky for El Pequeno Colibri.

Hilda working in her taller.

Hilda and Sonia learned silversmithing from their father, Gregorio, in his taller in Cusco. Hilda still works with her father in the Cachi studio. Both Hilda and Gregorio have won designations from UNESCO. They work using traditional tools, techniques, and designs. All of our beautiful tupos (basically silver pins to use with shawls)were handmade in the Cachi studio in Cusco.

Sonia now lives in Lima and has continued the family tradition.  She works with her husband, also from Cusco.  They create truly elegant and beautifully crafted jewelry, using the traditional techniques that she learned in her father’s taller.

Sonia Cachi
Sonia displaying her work.
Look at the detail on this little ram!

For a couple of years, I had been accumulating small, antique, stone animal sculptures. These sculptures were used in ceremonies to bless the animals and to give thanks before the annual alpaca shearing. A ceremony always takes place before shearing the alpacas after which the animals are gently sheared. I fell in love with these little sculptures and thought they would make really fantastic and unique pendants.

An example of Hilda’s work.

I approached both Sonia and Hilda to see if they were up for the task. They were. Their styles are very different. Sonia’s style is elegant and perfect. Hilda saw it as an opportunity to be creative, every design is unique, and surprisingly quite rustic. Hilda’s work with her father is very colonial, yet she indulged her love for pre-colonial design with these critters.

Sonia’s treatment of the ceremonial critters is colonial and beautifully crafted. Both work in 950 Peruvian silver using traditional techniques. I think they are equally beautiful. Sonia makes gorgeous chains, made entirely by hand, the clasp is the head of a Pavo Real or Peacock.

We’ll be featuring more about the Cachi family and their art on our blog in the weeks to come.