'One day, I gave my mother a pendant I designed. It depicted three moons and her zodiac sign, Taurus... I then decided to design my first collection, and it included all of the zodiac signs.'
Since 1532, when rich veins of silver were discovered, the town of Taxco has been synonymous with fine sterling. New York native William Spratling moved to Taxco in the 1920s and set up design and artisan workshops. Taxco jewelry is renowned around the world, the legacy is carried on by talented jewelers like Mikelo.
"I have this work in my blood," he says. "I'm the third generation of my family to craft jewelry.
"As a boy, I helped my father. Now I know that silver work is a part of me, as it was for my father and grandfather. With my jewelry designs, I can share part of myself, a bit of what I believe and see.
"Around 2010, after an economic downturn, sales plummeted and our workshop went through some difficult times as well. At the time, I didn't create my own designs but, one day, I gave my mother a pendant I designed. It depicted three moons and her zodiac sign, Taurus. She and many of my friends thought it was cool. I decided to design my first collection, and it included all of the zodiac signs.
"I decided to continue creating my own designs, all of them crafted by hand with traditional techniques. Because I closely observe my surroundings, I didn't find designing so difficult. One day, I simply wanted to depict something in a drawing and I only had to pick up my notebook and a pencil to do so. I was surprised by how easy it was to create the piece I was imagining.
"From that moment on, my designs began to emerge. I just need to let my imagination flow and then interpret it in silver. Today, I have a collection of more than 30 pieces made with 950 silver. With them, I want to share a bit of beauty, of joy, love, sensuality, nature, and my faith, of our past and everything that surrounds us daily. We don't always appreciate this.
"A difficult moment for me has become a fantastic opportunity to grow. I am both happy and satisfied with what I've achieved and I'm very excited about working.
"I love nature — its simplicity and, in many ways, its beauty. I want to capture it in my jewelry. I believe in God who takes care of me, who helps me and protects me. I'm amazed and intrigued by the infinite universe... I'm certain it knows a thousand secrets. I just want to share what moves me, excites me, what makes me fall in love and brings me happiness. I feel fortunate to have this fantastic opportunity to express myself through jewelry which I can share with anyone.
"Humbly accepting my heritage and my art has been very enriching. Although it hasn't always been easy, I've also had very some satisfying moments. I believe this is what life is about — having highs and lows that teach us something if we pay attention.
"I'm working so my jewelry will be recognized for its originality and unique designs, its fine silver and quality. I'm proud to offer fair wages for everyone who helps create and sell our silver jewelry."