Silver Bowl with Frogs, Emilia Castillo, Taxco, Mexico, silver plated, patina, 14" diameter x 6" high
Emilia Castillo was born to create art that is inspired by nature. As a child, her toys were insects, reptiles, frogs, plants, and rocks. She grew up on a beautiful ran near Taxco, Mexico, and her father was a noted silversmith who trained under the renowned silversmith and architect William Spratling.The Taxco ranch is still her family’s primary home, shared by her husband and partner, Roberto Romo, and their two daughters, Alejandra and Cristina. The ranch’s environment provides inspiration: a sinuous malachite salamander is the handle on a silver pitcher, pure silver tadpoles decorate porcelain plates with frogs balanced on the rim, scorpions and snakes rendered in stone crawl across serving plates.
Her work-silver tableware and objects that combine silver with alabaster, black onyx, malachite, and bisque porcelain-takes simple forms of nature and transforms them into true art. She is able to fashion her thoughts and ideas by her hands to manipulate wood, silver, copper, stone, iron, and ceramic. Emilia says, “I follow my hands. They are the best companions in my work. They allow me to express things I can’t put into words.“
Once Emilia has prepared a prototype, she is able to turn over her ideas to a full staff of craftsmen, who are experts in forging, plating, and porcelain firing. Many of the craftsman working today also worked with Emilia’s father. “My greatest joy is that the artisans that I work with feel the same excitement at making something both beautiful and useful,” she says.
The process is very traditional, but Emilia is always trying new techniques. ”An object may need to be made over and over; we often go through seven prototypes until its ready. But its worth it, because something is happening inside of me that absorbs my life and makes it rich. I only hope that the people who collect my work get half as much satisfaction.” - Emilia Castillo