Rita Soto is a Chilean artist who makes contemporary jewellery based on traditional basketry techniques, using natural fibres as her raw materials. She is a prominent advocate of traditional techniques within her work, creating large-scale volumetric pieces as well as small sculptures. Her technique is time-consuming as she works with very small filaments, such as the vegetable fibre ‘tampico’ and horsehair. Soto uses natural white horsehair dyed with anilines and then twists and moulds them into shape.
Soto learned the craft of jewellery making from her father, and then implemented the micro-basketry technique that she learned from two artisans from the town of Rari, where the process originated. Now most of the work in Rari is figurative, and artisans make colourful miniature human figures, animals, insects and objects. When Soto learned the technique she challenged herself to explore the limits of the basketry form. Her body of artwork is always accompanied with a story; a text that serves as support and inspiration for what she wants to express; her imagination, history, and vision as a Latin American woman.
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