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I finally got my Artisan Certification in Puerto Rico

I am very excited to have finally gained my certification status as a Puerto Rican Artisan!  I have been trying since 2011 to achieve this and now I am so happy, excited and marveled by how easy, yet so painful the process was.

There is actually a Law that governs the artisans in the island.  Known as Law Number 166 from August 11, 1995, this law defines what is an artisan, the categories of artisanal products, how the artisans are regulated and what agencies are in charge of doing so. More specifically, Puerto Rican artisanal pieces must be made in Puerto Rico, by a resident of Puerto Rico, made with materials found in Puerto Rico, hand made with original designs that represent Puerto Rican culture. There are over 30 categories of artisanal pieces.

The certification lasts for five years, although artisans must go annually to receive a letter to be exempt from collecting IVU (local sales tax). The interested candidates must go to the Compania de Fomento Industrial (known locally as Fomento) to get the date to participate in the certification process.

In order to be certified as an artisan, you must secure an appointment with Fomento for your pieces to be evaluated.  However, the process requires that all interested candidates must participate in an orientation provided by the staff, pay a $10.00 fee (for your ID card, if certified), and have your pieces evaluated. Fomento staff recommends that you bring 6 - 10 pieces per each category in which you want to be certified. The pieces must be in different stages of construction.  

When I decided to try again this year to see if I could get certified as an artisan I decided to make pieces representative of me and my art and utilized things that are representative of the island.  Some of the pieces I brought were in the beginning stages of construction while others were finished pieces.  I also decided to bring some of the metal sheets from which the pieces were sawed off so the evaluators could see where those pieces came to be. Some of the pieces are:

 These are my rings made with quarters from Puerto Rico issued by the US Mint.

My favorite quote in the world is "The earth laughs in Flowers" and I do enjoy making these little ones to wear.

I think this is a very minimalist ring that looks good with many outfits.

I like knowing where I am at or where I have been.  This hand stamped leather bracelet has the PR coordinates.  
I did bring other pieces made in aluminum, copper and brass, but I neglected to take pictures of those.  I was just so happy to finally get my artisan certification that some things were forgotten!  And the pieces were sold!

Oh! I almost forgot.  I got certified in three (3) artisan categories: silversmith, metals and artisanal jewelry.

If anything, I learned that perseverance is a must when I want to achieve my goals and reach my dreams and that a little bit of patience just makes me stronger and definitely a better person than when I started this process.  As I always say Life is Good in Sunny Puerto Rico!

Have a great day!

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