Jorge Moscoso, a native of Ecuador, is a master jewelry designer who uses traditional Ecuadorian motifs to make highly refined accessories both in fine silver and gold, embellished with freshwater pearls, and exquisite stones like carnelian, amethyst, and rubies. For much of his jewelry, Moscoso uses gold and silver from mines located in his hometown of Cuenca, which happens to be the metallurgy center of Ecuador. As a youth, Moscoso apprenticed under a master jeweler; later, he studied architecture in college, while artistically exploring sculpting and painting as well.
Much of his inspiration comes from traditional metal filigree and repoussé, which he juxtaposes with beads and semiprecious stones, expanding on historic motifs and methods, first introduced to Ecuador by the Spanish in the 1590s. Upon arrival, the Spaniards found an established, highly evolved tradition of metallurgy practiced by Ecuador’s indigenous populations, with an especially fine technique of creating repoussé—an elaborate but delicate style in which thin sheets of metal are pressed or hammered over a mold to produce a range of designs.
Jewelry like Moscoso’s is proudly worn by indigenous and mestizo women both for special occasions and for everyday adornment. More and more, modern jewelers are abandoning high-karat gold and fine silver, which means items are less refined than they used to be. Thanks to master artisans like Jorge Moscoso, Ecuador’s rich, diverse history is not only being preserved, but also is being shared with clients regionally and abroad.