Please allow me to introduce a unique line of handicrafts, Toiva! The name comes from the native Cunza language. It means “Dove of the Desert”.
My name is Dalila Cortes Guzman. I was born in the city of Copiapo in 1981, into a family of craftsmen – goldsmiths, silversmiths, lapidarists – in the Atacama Region of northern Chile, South America. From childhood, my parents taught me to value the art and the passion of making jewelry from gold, silver, and semiprecious stones. Thus was born my passion for the work.
My first forays into jewelry making occurred as a child helping my mother at age 11. She taught me different techniques and concepts of jewelry – that was my first school. At age 18, I moved to Santiago where I studied for four years at the Bellas Artes Academy, which specializes in metal techniques, granulation, enamel and chain-making. I finally came back to my home town to work in my parents' studio, as my father was very ill.
While working in the family business, I continued learning more about jewelery making. In 2009 I moved to Canada. I now reside in Mississauga. I wanted to continue working in the jewelry trade, so I installed my little studio in the basement of my house. My work is totally handmade, and usually designed by myself.
While I greatly enjoy creating unique and original designs, I am always open to new ideas. I put all of my creative energy and inspiration into every piece. Each item that I create is a lovingly crafted work of art. It brings me great joy to create something beautiful from a sheet of metal and bits of stone.
Most of my products are rendered in grade 950 silver and semiprecious stones, but I also utilize other metals, including gold and copper in addition to semi precious and precious stones. Of course, each item is individually and lovingly hand made. I also sometimes use different materials like fish leather (salmon), wool, horse hair, seeds, feathers, enamel, resin, glass etc.
All Toiva! jewelry is handmade exclusively by me. I spend as much time as possible in my studio. I am intensely proud of the quality of my products, which are internationally renowned. It is my intent that my customers have hand-made products which are of highest quality, and that each piece is unique.
Thanks for reading and please continue browsing my website to find jewelry for yourself. You'll be glad you did!