Every month we introduce you to one of our consignment artist. 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 found himself since very young he helped him out in the shop often spending whole summers there. Its this beginning that helped him to build the dexterity with tools that he has. Always building something was the foundation he needed to help me become the artist he is today. His family spent their weekend in the great outdoors allowing him to grow his hobby of collecting interesting rocks.

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

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 and after two months after his arrival feeling comfortable with his english he started to head out to goldsmiths and show them his work. Finding work in Toronto was not difficult for him but he soon became bored of setting stones and found a new interesting in carving wax. There was a demand for this kind of work, although he did not have much experience he did have the technical understanding of jewelry. Coupled with his 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 to ask for finished products which led to situations in which some pieces could not be made from wax so he began fabricating. Once again he had the technical understanding of fabrication as he had goldsmith working for him but he had to spend extra hours to practice his soldering to make it work.

CAD design

Like most creative people, Carlos often gets bored doing the same thing over and over so 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 every night something new his fears started to dwindle. Its with CAD he was able to realise the possibilities that are afforded to him with being able to manipulate a piece before it’s crafted.

In 2006 he started up Modeliamo with business partner Pino Vallecorsa. Being one of the first jewellers to embrace CAD and to offer full service milling, printing, design and casting of any piece of 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 weeding in architectural features. Nebula came after Andalucía and was created to make transparencies of different colours, tones and shapes in a playful manner.

Featured below are is a CAD rendering and an image of a finished piece from Carlos's Andalucía Collection. Having trouble telling the difference? This is cause of Carlos's precision in crafting 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