heART of Bellevue: AYNI Jewelry Art
New to our area, artist Calin Garcia started AYNI Jewelry Art in the small Andean town of Pisaq, Peru. Garcia has been creating contemporary metalsmith jewelry for over 23 years, selling pieces all around the world.
"I wanted to travel," Garcia said. "At first I was selling jewelry on the streets, trading pieces and selling to tourists. I traveled for ten years, and eventually opened a gallery and studio in Peru."
Garcia moved to the Seattle area last October, now residing in Bothell with his family. Establishing himself as an artist in this new area, during the coronavirus, has been difficult.
"The pandemic has effected business a lot," Garcia stated. "All of the art shows I signed up for have been canceled."
According to Garcia, it's hard living in a new place where few people know him or his artwork.
"Shows are the best way I can meet people and demonstrate my craft," Garcia explained. "Right now, those shows aren't happening. I have to rely on my network and website (Etsy) more."
Although living in a different community and culture, AYNI Jewelry Art remains built on Peruvian tradition. According to Garcia, his technique is inspired by a blend of "unique artist visions with ancient cultures." Each piece is hand-sculpted and soldered using sterling silver. Garcia also works with minerals and precious stones, which he hand-selects carefully for each piece.
"I create something based on how I feel," Garcia explained. "Sometimes I make happiness, and sometimes I spend hours on a piece. It’s a feeling."
His jewelry includes elaborate rings, pendants and necklaces. Each piece showcases a variety of mixed-metal techniques, including wrapping, engraving and oxidizing. Some of his stones, including genuine arrowheads, were found in Peru.
"I know a lot of different techniques, but never repeat one piece," he said. "Each piece is unique."
For more information on Calin Garcia's work, visit his AYNI Jewelry Art Etsy page or follow him on Instagram.
This blog is part of our new blog series: heART of Bellevue. As an alternative to the 6th Street Arts Fair, the BDA – in partnership with Amazon - will feature local artists who would have participated in this year’s festival. Support all of our artists who were going to participate in this year’s fair by browsing their artwork and portfolios on our website.