Miami, Miami Beach and South Beach are historically interwoven and have become a haven for artists, musicians and designers. Prior to this period, which started sometime in the 1980’s, there was nothing much to speak of in any of these communities. It was to this environment that this week’s featured Monday Maker came to America and started his august career as jewelry maker, visual designer and painter.
Team All New American is honored to introduce Guillermo Gonzalez.
Guillermo grew up in Cuba during a tumultuous time and his mother kept him and his brother busy with art projects. Anything from painting to drawing to working with clay or metal.
Art materials were scarce and Guillermo became adept at finding discarded pieces of metal, wood or wire and refashioning them into pieces of art.
In 1969 Guillermo and his family escaped from Cuba and came to Miami, long before South Beach and the surrounding areas became so popular. They were thankful to be accepted into America.
Staying true to his art Guillermo became known in the community as a talented young jewelry maker. When he was in his twenties he was invited to set up shop on Lincoln Road where he sold his pieces of art out of a small storefront that he paid $120.00/month for in rent. Lincoln Road was a wasteland and the neighborhood was overjoyed to have him. Repurposing, up-cycling and reshaping found materials was in his veins and he distinguished himself by making one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art. Some of his most notable pieces were made from cat food cans turned into cuffs. He sold thousands and not one was the same as the other.
A stunning necklace using repurposed drawer pulls and inserting carnelian stones.
Over the next 20 years, Guillermo became well known as the jewelry and visual designer of Miami. His pieces became collectibles and his art was recognizable.
This ‘Y’ necklace is exquisitely made out of sterling silver and sea bamboo.
Today, Guillermo works out of his very small 5’x10′ home studio filled to the brim with found objects or flea market bought trinkets
waiting to be fashioned into something beautiful.
The uniqueness of his work is in the intricate details which resonates his passion. Every link is made by hand as opposed to gathering the pieces from different suppliers and bringing them together.
It is hard to imagine that the above detailed work comes out of a workshop where humble tools hang on the side of his wooden worktable
and pots, pans and burners, used to melt down the metal in order to become pliable, are stacked haphazardly in a corner of the room.
Today, Guillermo has chosen to focus on his ailing parents who risked and gave up everything in order to give their two sons a better life. Guillermo is still crafting beautiful one-of-a-kind pieces when time allows.
Sterling silver, shank bone and black coral bracelet.
I was privy to his vast arsenal of images and current inventory.
His passion was evident as he delicately handled pieces, showing me the intricate work and letting me try things on.
I did acquire two originals which I have proudly worn on numerous occasions.
The bracelet spoke to me as is it is made with discarded bat gammon pieces (one of my all time favorite games) and tiles.
Other pieces included bangles made from inherited hardware parts from famous jewelry designer Gloria Lomas.
Belt buckles crafted from inherited metal made of brass treated with acid to kill shine and darken it.
The different layers of metal are then riveted together.
A beautiful necklace made from cable wire, black coral washed up from Hurricane Andrew and brass.
A three strand necklace made with black jet glass.
American turquoise necklace with sterling stampings.
Three bangle set made out of sterling silver with granulation.
A sterling silver necklace with metallic freshwater pearls shown here with rings made out shank bone and a bracelet made from turn of the century piano keys and sterling silver.
His drawings go back 30 years and are extremely detailed.
Guillermo throws nothing out.
He is the ultimate pack rat.
Over the years, as most artists do, Guillermo has created small books that are collectibles and one-of-a-kind pieces detailing his continuous thoughts on life.
All New American is delighted to feature the story of an exceptional and humble Cuban American artist, Guillermo Gonzalez. Since 1984 Guillermo has been creating beautiful pieces of jewelry and wearable art made out of a plethora of found objects that he has collected through his American life’s journey in Miami, FL.
These collectibles and one-of-a-kind pieces are unique quality American Made products and Guillermo can be proud to be part of the community of artists and artisans that make the USA their home and contribute to the engine which makes America great.
For futher information on Guillermo’s vast collection or if you are interested in a custom piece please contact him personally at 305-834-5217 or [email protected]
He would love to hear from you!
Thank you for giving us your time today. Have a great week. The Team.