Mano y Metal: Handcrafted Jewelry with an Industrial Edge

Good morning! I’d like to introduce you to this month’s spotlight artist, Des. She is the super talented, self taught jeweler from Little Village, Chicago, USA. Des started Mano y Metal in 2010 and has been working non-stop since! 

Her art pieces quickly caught my attention while stumbling thru etsy. She has soft feminine pieces, like the hand painted wood earrings, Frida Khalo earings. The Heart of a Biker series has confidence and “bad ass” written all over it, yet feels as soft and feminine as the earrings, and I LOVE it! The cuffs and rings, are so awesome; adorned with quotes that are so inspiring and motivating!

Mano y Metal is one of my favorites because of the unique contrasts between the tough metal and heart warming phrases.
READ the interview below for some awesome inspiration and motivation!
1. How did you start Mano y Metal? I was inspired by a street vendor I met in Puerto Rico this past summer, she had a steel block on her knee and was hammering wire on it to make earrings and I returned to Chicago unable to shake the desire to create jewelry and most importantly: use a hammer in the process—I love the irony of such an aggressive action i.e. hammering metal—and how it produces a delicate piece of wearable art=jewelry. 
2.What inspires you and how do you keep yourself motivated? People, experience, a phrase in a conversation, colors, train rides, dreams, tangled emotions, conflict, resolution, city sounds, the past, present, culture –all of it—I pull from all areas of my life and if something inspires me I scribble it on a post-it and add it to the collage of post-its on my wall… the pieces that get priority in being produced are the ones that keep me awake at night—tossing and turning, until I create and share them.
What keeps me motivated is the love Mano y Metal has received in this short time of being up and running. When a customer sends me a picture or a message telling me how much they like wearing their piece—that motivates me to keep producing new and fresh work.
3.How would you describe your style (Mano y Metal)? Definitely non-traditional, I am a self-taught jewelry artist so every day is a learning process and I like to create work that is bold, truthful, thought-provoking and most importantly FUN to wear! What we wear is a reflection of us and I hope people are able to connect to my work in some way and have fun wearing it.
4. What is your creative process? I ride the wave of impulse with my creative process and I almost have no control over what will be produced—my artistic side is quite dominating and all I can do is put on some music that sets the groove for my creation time and see what I come up with—I try to work in the daytime too because the sunshine streaming in my window inspires me. Most importantly, I tell my inner critic to take a nap while I work so it doesn’t distract me! J
5. What do you enjoy most about creating your pieces? The ability to create whatever I want- literally—I like the ability to lift limits and if I like an image, color, word—I can put it on a piece of jewelry and I set out to make it happen- I no longer have to hunt for the perfect color, style—instead I can produce it myself and that is awesome! I love being able to share that ability with my customers too as I offer the option of customizing products– which transfers to them: the ability to get whatever they’d like hand stamped and created on jewelry (within my ability) for them or their loved ones. It’s a very cool feeling to be able to do that- be my own boss, create and share.
6. Any words of advice/tips for people who want to express their creativity, but don’t know how? Put your inner critic on mute. I see how children push limits and scribble on a piece a paper and call it a house—or call it a universe and the children believe in their scribbles- even beam with pride at their creations and as adults we tend to lose the ability to shed logic and just believe in our imagination— we put our creativity through a series of internal filters and end up dismantling the passion that evoked an idea to begin with.
Instead, pick a Sunday afternoon for that art project you’ve been putting off—play some music, set out your materials, remember to relax and have fun, trust your creative impulses and see what you come up with! Nurturing your creative side unveils parts of your personality that lay buried under the everyday routine we often get trapped in—use art to liberate the child within yourself; the one that believes in their ability to create.
Des would like to giveaway this rad cuff to one special Nina on the Moon reader!
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  • Reply Lalli Carvalho

    Wow! What a beautiful bracelet, I love it!
    I also love your blog, basntae stylish.
    Take care, dear.
    Have lie my page on facebook?

    June 1, 2011 at 4:22 pm
  • Reply Asta

    nice interview..i will def check her out!

    June 1, 2011 at 8:07 pm
  • Reply Mano y Metal

    Yey! Thank you for the wonderful interview bella! I love Nina on the Moon!!!!! <3 Looking forward to creating and giving away the frida kahlo cuff! xoxoxo.
    Des, Mano y Metal.

    June 1, 2011 at 9:14 pm
  • Reply If Curves Could Talk (Stefanie)

    Great interview!!

    June 1, 2011 at 9:52 pm
  • Reply Despina

    thanks dear!i am a nirvana fan too.i really like ur blog.i am following you.follow back if u like 🙂

    June 1, 2011 at 10:12 pm

    i freaking love this… self taught post thats me in one i really love it so creative!


    June 1, 2011 at 11:01 pm
  • Reply Jlo

    Love the bold & edgy design of her accessories! <3 Am following your blog now :D Thanks for the lovely words in my blog btw, hugss~


    June 2, 2011 at 6:10 am
  • Reply Catherine Robinson

    Thanks for dropping by my blog…the cuff is great…my daughter would love it! Have a good day.

    June 2, 2011 at 6:30 am
  • Reply SparksandFireworks

    Done all of the above! I seriously love that cuff! Great giveaway and great blog!!
    Sending lots of love!

    p.s i reposted on fb 🙂 and followed both on twitter (can you tell i want it?) lol


    June 2, 2011 at 7:52 am
  • Reply Miksu

    Interesting post again 🙂 Great giveaway!


    June 2, 2011 at 8:54 am
  • Reply jenna

    I totally love these, such inspirational and clever pieces of jewellery..especially the cuffs!

    June 2, 2011 at 10:36 am
  • Reply Forever young.

    girl you’re so stylish! love lot of your outfits!
    where are u from? because i’ve seen some posts in spanish! i’m from spain 😀

    would be great if u visit my blog:



    June 2, 2011 at 1:15 pm
  • Reply Marta.

    Ouch great!, we can speak spanglish, if you want! Y como es que vive alli? Pues nosé me gustaría volver, me gusto muchoo 🙂

    June 2, 2011 at 1:42 pm
  • Reply Jazzy E (hivenn)

    so lovely. x hivenn

    June 2, 2011 at 2:08 pm
  • Reply Mano y Metal

    Yey! Glad you gals like it! Y yo tambien me gustaria visitar a Spain un dia! Spanglish is the best.
    Des, Mano y Metal.

    June 2, 2011 at 3:21 pm
  • Reply Isabela Roriz Moreira

    i like the jewelry, so criative!
    i love your blog too, congrats!
    im following u, follow me back, please!
    xoxo from brasil

    June 2, 2011 at 3:38 pm
  • Reply Sweetdie

    ohh I’m completely in love with the ring!! is great great great!

    June 2, 2011 at 3:47 pm
  • Reply Roxxy

    Wow, I love it. It’s more than the cool jewelry pieces she makes, I love the words she puts on them. Interesting juxtaposition.

    June 2, 2011 at 5:39 pm
  • Reply Chiara

    those jeweleries look so cool!!!

    it’s so creative!!

    June 2, 2011 at 7:27 pm
  • Reply Adriana Iris

    super cute blog… if i win i will blog about it… now following you.

    June 2, 2011 at 10:30 pm
  • Reply The Cat Hag

    Thanks for dropping by my blog. ♥

    Her rings are fabulous, those love quotes are fantastic. 🙂

    The Cat Hag

    June 2, 2011 at 10:50 pm
  • Reply Falala Mele

    that is some nice stuff!!!

    now following….hope you can check out my blog sometime.

    mele, Australia

    June 2, 2011 at 11:02 pm
  • Reply le sorelle

    These pieces are amazing – thanks for introducing us to such a talented artist! The metal pieces are my favorites.

    sorelle in style

    June 3, 2011 at 1:56 am
  • Reply Que Fregados


    June 3, 2011 at 4:11 am
  • Reply Kate L.

    What a cool cuff!! Thanks for stopping by my blog:)

    Fashion Cat

    June 3, 2011 at 10:24 am
  • Reply Nancy

    Love these! Following you from Blog for Latinas..

    Following you on Twitter!

    Change Your Life

    Coach Turbo Nancy’s Blog

    June 3, 2011 at 4:12 pm
  • Reply MarieStella

    hello dear!! i did everything!! so talented!! beautiful creations!! i want to take part!! xoxo

    June 3, 2011 at 4:41 pm
  • Reply The Corner Girl

    Such an awesome jewelry artist! So inspiring!

    June 4, 2011 at 12:01 am
  • Reply Mr. Meursault

    ¡qué padre!; esa frase de Frida Kahlo es la onda… muy folklórico y moderno a la vez 😀

    June 4, 2011 at 7:52 am
  • Reply Paola

    answer:thank you so much for your lovely comment!!*_*
    I am very happy that you visited my blog!!;D

    June 4, 2011 at 11:54 am
  • Reply Andrea

    wow´re blog is so awesome!

    i am definitely following and i can´t wait for your next post!

    follow me back if you want 😉

    June 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm
  • Reply Jenna

    i love these, the cuffs in particular are real works of art!

    June 4, 2011 at 6:09 pm
  • Reply LA Lynn's

    I luv the pieces… *one of a kind* also, thanks for taking the time to stop by my blog & leaving a comment! BLOGGERS ROCK!!!!

    June 5, 2011 at 10:34 pm
  • Reply Sarah

    I’m about eleven seconds away from browsing that website, now. What a great lineup of pieces and the interview was a good read. (:

    June 7, 2011 at 4:10 am
  • Reply Anti

    wow,,,is this for worldwide…and i don’t have a twiter account, so can I still join this ?

    June 7, 2011 at 5:44 am
  • Reply Fabi para Tiendas Carrion

    😀 What a nice blog post, Des seems very talented!
    No se como buscarte en facebook! Buscame a mi por “Fabi Pina” o por y te agrego en el acto!
    Hugsies blogger bff!

    June 7, 2011 at 6:25 am
  • Reply Mano y Metal

    Hola fabi! & THANK YOU to everyone for reading and joining in on the Giveaway fun! 😀

    fabi: Just click on the text where it says: “follow Mano y Metal on facebook” and Nina made it a direct link to my page to like it!

    Good luck on the winning! xoxo.

    June 7, 2011 at 3:50 pm
  • Reply Carolina

    🙂 i am over the moon that everyone loves Des&Mano y Metal as muchas i do 🙂

    June 7, 2011 at 8:31 pm
  • Reply Anonymous

    Muy buena entrevista! Nina rules!

    June 9, 2011 at 12:01 am
  • Reply GGLUE

    Me gusta mucho la nueva imagen de tu blog y tus buenas vibras! Best Blog EVER!

    June 9, 2011 at 12:37 am
  • Reply Harija

    Neat post & great support – i would love to follow and enter the giveaway, but blogger isn’t allowing me to follow!!

    Ohh well good luck to all the contestants

    My Lyfe ; My Story

    @MyLyfeMyStory on twitter

    June 9, 2011 at 11:14 pm
  • Reply Jenelle

    now following nina! (@trashn2tees)

    June 13, 2011 at 10:56 pm
  • Reply Jenelle

    ooh! following man y metal on facebook too!

    June 13, 2011 at 10:57 pm
  • Reply luckyfinds

    1. following Nina on the Moon via GFC as luckyfinds
    2. Liked Manoymetal on facebook
    3. Left a comment on manoymetal fb wall about my favorite cuff bracelet.

    facebook name: Emiliana Sison
    emiliana.sison AT

    June 14, 2011 at 7:46 am
  • Reply luckyfinds

    I follow ninaonthemoon on twitter as millette05

    emiliana.sison AT

    June 14, 2011 at 7:47 am
  • Reply Que Fregados

    Not only am I following you but I am following her too! I ended up buying one of the cuffs (although I still would love to win the Frida one) and I am wearing it right now – BEAUTIFUL! It was not too expensive and is made of some kind of softer metal so I could adjust it to my wrist.

    June 14, 2011 at 2:47 pm
  • Reply Mano y Metal

    Que Fregadoas- I am SO GLAD you like your bracelet! You purchased one of my favorite quotes! Yes, I use soft aluminum so it is adjustable! yey, so happy to read this! 🙂 <3
    p.s Im keeping up with your blog too!

    August 6, 2011 at 3:50 pm
  • Reply Allie

    I love the attitude I see in their pieces! I think I’ve found another of the great gold sellers online.

    February 15, 2012 at 2:28 am
  • Reply gold buyers

    Those accessories look rustic and definitely hip. Thank you very much.

    February 23, 2012 at 5:32 am
  • Reply sterling silver jewelry

    I wish you would be able to customize that silver bracelet with your own message. Thanks.

    March 27, 2012 at 7:52 am
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