Featured Artist: The Andes
"My designs are inspired by nature, and by typical scenes from my town and region. I feel very proud of the works that I create, and I look forward to sharing them with more and more people."
"I have been dedicated to this art form since I was 17 years old. I originally started learning through the influence of my husband's family. In time we united our skills and labor. Little by little, I learned to design and paint. I realized that the more I practiced, the more this craft won me over, offering me tremendous gratification. Now I consider it a way of life, dedicating myself full-time.
"I create many kinds of beautiful mirrors, coasters, boxes and trays. My tools consist of simple brushes, hammers, nails and glue. For the designs and illustrations, I use India ink to produce the finer details and outlines. Finally for colors I use tempera paints and purpurina, or gilt.
"I follow a meticulous process, carefully shaping the wood to give it a pleasing form. Later, for my mirrors, I cut the glass and outline my intended design on the surface with India ink. Next, I fill the outline with beautiful Cajamarca patterns using paints and gilt. To finish, I glue the glass to the wood and apply a rich golden paint to the borders of the frame. This whole process demands incredible patience and attention to detail.
"My designs are inspired by nature, and by typical scenes from my town and region. I feel very proud of the works that I create, and I look forward to sharing them with more and more people around the world."
2008 update from Asunta Pelaez:
"Novica has brought about a great change in my life, economically, of course, and personally as well, because I really value their recognition of my work. They make me feel good about myself, and encourage me to keep moving ahead. The testimonials my customers post make me happy. In my humble opinion, it seems like foreigners appreciate our handicrafts more than we Peruvians do. This kind of work won't make anyone rich, and making a living through art isn't easy, but, thanks to Novica, I can live without worries because I know I'll always have work. My workshop now provides employment to five fulltime helpers. When I receive large orders, as many as 17 people join me. Thanks to Novica, I can offer work to these people, including women with limited economic resources. This makes me feel useful. My income has doubled since I joined Novica. For me, Novica is something very special. People are surprised when I tell them I can't attend to their order requests, that I have too much work to do for my business. I talk about Novica as though it were my own business, and let other things go. For me, Novica comes first."