"I was born in Lima in 1969," says jeweler Marianela Vargas Balarezo. "I learned my art through private classes and workshops, but from the time I was a child I loved jewelry. I always felt a special need to make my own. I went through a period when my health was a problem and, while I recovered, I looked for something to pass the time. It seemed like a good idea to do something I liked while learning something new. One day when I was out for a walk, I noticed a place that offered classes in jewelry making. I never even thought about it. I signed up and I was hooked. That was in 2003 and today I am still creating new designs filled with life.<br><br>"I'd describe my work as expressive. I enjoy extroverted designs. It's a wonderful form of self expression and time just flies when I'm working. I like to use a variety of silver crafting techniques that show how beautiful it is.<br><br>"I love creating, combining and producing beautiful things. I couldn't stop now if I tried. My health was my greatest challenge but it led me into this world of art.<br><br>"I hope you appreciate my art and the dedication that goes into each piece. I hope our Peruvian art is noticed in every corner of the world."