Raised in Belize, shaped by the beautiful Belizean landscapes and Mayan spiritual beliefs, Carlos Zepeda incorporates this background into each of his hand-crafted pieces of art. A silversmith by trade, Carlos fuses silver with natural stones, beads, and shells in each of his pieces.
One cannot ignore the centerpiece of Carlos’s artwork which is the beautiful conch shell. Carlos has a deep passion for the sea and all the creatures that lie within. A single mollusk shell provides a palate of natural pinks and oranges embedded in its’ spirals. Carlos sees in this natural beauty the cycle of life and incorporates this theme throughout his pieces.
Carlos’ interest in art started out when he was a young boy and enjoyed painting. He worked many different jobs to earn money, including cutting cane and working as a snorkel guide; however his passion for art persisted. He took painting classes in Belize, but his interests migrated toward the technical skills of silversmithing. He was inspired by many artists however apprenticed under Waldo Munoz, a Chilean silversmith. He continued to travel throughout Central America and was deeply moved by the many ruins the Mayan culture left behind and by the raw gemstones hidden within the earth’s natural folds. He studied natural gems and to this day, hand chooses each stone. He then will begin sculpting and hand firing a unique silver setting for each shell or stone provided by nature. He does not use molds or fancy machinery but rather crafts each piece with a hand torch and simple tools.
Over the years Carlos’ jewelry creations have developed, and his efforts have been recognized with several awards including:
• Havre de Grace Art Show: Best in Show2013 & 2014
• Corn Hill Art Festival, Rochester, New York: First Place-Jewelry
• Sea Wall Art Show, 2014, Portsmouth, Virginia: Honorable Mention
• Saucon Creek Art Festival, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania: Best in Show
• Syracuse Arts and Crafts Festival 2015: Honorable Mention
In 2009, Carlos founded Cozaana, the jewelry business named after the Mayan Creator God Cozaana. Carlos greatest hope is that the people wearing his jewelry feel they are wearing a piece of art. He is 100% committed to the quality production and integrity of each piece.