Michelle Tange founded Gitana Fine Silver in 2002 with a small collection of fine silver jewelry from select silversmiths working in Taxco, Mexico. As Taxco has a rich history of silversmithing dating to the 1930s, some of the finest jewelry is designed and made in this charming town. We are featuring work from Agnes Seebass, Susana Cabrales and Oliver Munoz.
Agnes Seebass was born in 1966 in Berlin. She studied Jewelry Design and Techniques of Production at the Staatliche Zeichenakademie in Hanau, Germany. After being exposed to Mexican modern and folk art, she desired to learn more about Mexican culture, especially the fabrication of metal in Taxco, and in 1992 she had the good fortune to be awarded a scholarship to study silversmithing at the Los Castillo workshop in Taxco. Eventually, she began creating her own pieces and opened a workshop, first in Taxco and then in Cuernavaca.
Agnes points out that while her jewelry designs were significantly enriched by the hollow-ware techniques she learned at Los Castillo, and by the styles and techniques of earlier Mexican silversmiths whose interpretations of pre-Columbian motifs define much of their work, she is a modernist whose designs only subtly reflect this influence.
“I think that my designs are a mixture of German and Mexican culture. In part, the forms of Mexican nature and contrasts inspire me, and on the other hand I like simple geometric forms, and of course, I have a (German) passion for precise handcraftsmanship…
Normally I do not draw a design. I work directly with the metal, experimenting, hammering, et cetera. All of my pieces are 100% handmade.” (With thanks to Marbeth Schon, “Modern Maestro”, modernsilver.com)
Susana Cabrales, born in Colombia, is living and working in Mexico. She has been influenced by the Huichol culture—especially its beading techniques—in many of her pieces. These particular necklaces are contemporary geometric forms—concentric circles, tubes and coils—with unique closures hidden within the necklace designs.
Oliver Munoz, living and working in Taxco, creates distinctive jewelry pieces that are architectural and light weight, with a style that incorporates negative spaces and undulating reflective surfaces.