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Cristina Romo Castillo (Mexican)
Also known as: Cristina CastilloBiography:
Beautifully designed and crafted silver runs through the veins of the Castillo family. The patriarch, Antonio, bestowed his passion for design and working in silver on his daughter Emilia, and then in turn to his granddaughter Cristina. The work of these three silversmiths displays an evolution in form and technique that has drawn admirers from the 1930s to this day.
Their story opens during the Mexican silver Renaissance in the second quarter of the twentieth century guided by Fred Davis and William Spratling. Spratling’s work shop in Taxco, Mexico, Taller Las Delicias, provided the training for many young men who later went on to establish studios of their own. One of Sprating’s earliest apprentices was Antonio Castillo who joined Spratling in 1933 at the age of sixteen, followed by his brothers Jorge, Miguel and Justo, who developed expertise in all aspects of running the studio. Antonio rose to the level of maestro and with his brothers left Spratling in 1939 to begin their own taller, Los Castillo. Focusing on product variety and developing a wide range of innovative silver techniques, they employed a talented pool of designers that experimented with materials and new techniques, all while keeping an eye on style and trends. They are particularly known today for married metals (incorporating multiple metals into a single work) and for inlay of local stones into their silver jewelry and hollowware.
As a family studio, it was not surprising that as soon as Antonio’s daughter Emilia was able to walk, she was in the workshops asking to be put to work. With the guidance of her father, uncles, and the many masterful silver smiths employed by the taller, Emilia created her own distinct style, incorporating inspiration found in the lush natural surroundings of Taxco. Her ability to capture the taste of the day with clean forms and a playful use of colored stones has earned her a great following and representation by retailers such as Neiman Marcus, starting with the flagship in Dallas in 1990.
Emilia’s daughters accompanied her to trunk shows in the United States where the younger, Cristina Romo Castillo, followed in her mother’s footsteps beginning to design in silver at the age of five. Growing up in her family’s workshop outside of Taxco, Cristina was trained, encouraged, and imbued with the familial desire to experiment. Like her mother, she was surrounded by an inspiring world including tropical plants and waterfalls on the family ranch. These forces molded her personal aesthetic resulting in her own line of handmade pieces using porcelain, silver, alabaster and semi-precious stones.
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