Every month we introduce you to one of our consignment artists. There is no salt and pepper, we reveal the rawest story on our artists' creative journey. How they met and fell in love with jewellery? What inspired them and how? What was the making process like? What are the tips on being a successfully established jewellery artist? Visit our Facebook and Instagram pages to stay up to date on our latest collections. Go to INTERVIEW ARCHIVE to read more stories.

Artist of the Month (2): Carlos Soto

February 23, 2017

Introducing our featured artist of the month: Carlos Soto of Soto Design

Carlos was born in Madrid, Spain. His father was a cabinet maker and from a young age he found himself helping out in the shop and often spending whole summers there. It is this beginning that helped him to build the dexterity with tools that he has. Always building something was the foundation he needed to become the artist he is today. His family spent their weekends in the great outdoors allowing him to grow his hobby of collecting interesting rocks.

His introduction to the jewellery industry came from a relative that was working as a bookkeeper in a diamond importing company. His relative knew of his interest in minerals and crystals, and from there he began an apprenticeship learning how to set stones at the young age of 17. Two years after his apprenticeship Carlos set off to set up his own shop. During the time he spent in Madrid he was able to work with a plethora of people from small workshops to the finest local jewellers!

The move

Years later Carlos found love. He met a Canadian woman living in Madrid and after 4 years of happy life in Spain she decided she wanted to come back to Canada and he followed her. He moved to Toronto at the end of 1990. Two months after his arrival, feeling comfortable with his English, he started heading out to goldsmiths and showing his work. Finding work in Toronto was not difficult for him but he soon became bored of setting stones and found a new interest in carving wax. There was a demand for this kind of work and although he did not have much experience he did have the required technical understanding of jewellery. With his prior understanding of stone and wood carving, it didn't take him long to get a feeling for this new skill. As time progressed his clients began asking for finished products that could not be made from wax so he began to learn fabricating. Once again he had the technical understanding of fabrication as he had a goldsmith working for him but he had to spend extra hours practicing soldering to make it work.

CAD design

Like most creative people, Carlos often gets bored doing the same thing over and over. Later in 2005 he found computer aided design (CAD) and fell in love with it. The first time he opened up the program Rhinoceros 3D he felt overwhelmed by the complexity of CAD design, but after teaching himself something new every night his fears started to fade. Using CAD he was able to realise the possibilities of being able to manipulate a piece before it’s crafted.

In 2006 he started up Modeliamo with business partner Pino Vallecorsa. They were one of the first jewellers to embrace CAD and to offer full service milling, printing, design and casting jewellery. Carlos began to work on Modeliamo’s line of jewellery and put together two collections, Andalucía and Nebula. Andalucía was inspired by the patterns of Islamic art, combining classic patterns with different shapes, and weaving in architectural features. Nebula came after Andalucía and was created to combine transparencies of different colours, tones and shapes in a playful manner.

Featured below are a CAD rendering and an image of a finished piece from Carlos's Andalucía Collection. Having trouble telling the difference? This is an example of Carlos' precision in creating hyper realistic renderings for all of his projects.

For more examples of Carlos' work, visit Carlos Soto under CANADIAN ARTISTS menu.

18Karat Studio+GalleryARTIST OF THE MONTH-SOTO