At the beginning of this month I had the pleasure of attending a course with the renowned jeweler and teacher Carles Codina i Armengol. He came to Escuela Crisol last year, and I could not attend unfortunately, so I was very happy to be able to make it this year.
Carles and Jordi (my teacher) go way back, as they studied together at Escola Massana, one of the leading art and design schools in Europe. They are still good friends, and lucky for us in Costa Rica, they decided to collaborate and bring amazing courses across the Atlantic.
Last year the classes were mostly practical, and I hear they learned how to make mokume-gane, among other cool and complicated techniques.
This year the plan was different. The approach was focused on the conceptual part of jewelry design, geared specifically to the design of a piece of jewelry to be sold at the gift shop in the Costa Rican National Theater. We were to design a piece inspired by the theater itself, to serve as a souvenir to whichever target group we were to choose (habitual opera fans and theater buffs, or in-and-out-in-five-minutes tourists), and in turn choose a price point to correspond with the spending habits of each group. The piece had to include packaging, so it could be displayed in it, and be packed quickly upon purchase, and hopefully, the packaging would be appealing and special enough to draw the consumer in and add value to the piece itself. It was a tall order for a class that would last less than 10 days- but we did it!
To begin the whole thing we all visited the Teatro Nacional to take pictures. I have to confess that I hadn’t been there in years (probably since elementary school). This theater is considered one of Costa Rica’s architectural jewels, and it was built in the 1890s with money earned by the country through a tax imposed on coffee export (one of CR’s major industries still to this day). The style of the theater is very interesting, as it mixes European influence with images of Costa Rican agricultural images- more specifically, the Alegoría del café y el banano (Allegory of coffee and banana), by artist Aleardo Villa.
Here are some images from our visit:
floor pattern and the group looking up / mirror detail / numbered seats
the Allegory of coffee and banana: image on our ¢5 bill / lady picking coffee
elaborate doorknob / ceiling light fixture
foyer / wall detail in the foyer, 1890
floor pattern made with national precious woods / cool floor tile / big lamp in the theater
Though I didn’t get any pictures of the outside, it’s very beautiful as well, so google it :). Until the next installment.