<b>Update (July, 2019)</b><br><br> I've been working with you now since 2002 and I consider you as part of my own family. I had the privilege of having one of your directors explain the project to me.<br><br> When I first set up my workshop, sales were slow. But every one of you showed me an incredible support and I found strength and faith in knowing that my work was being shared.<br><br> The changes were obvious - we had to train the people who assist me and pay them better to overcome the challenges that arose along the way. My workshop became a formal and well-organized place to create and we improved the quality of our work as well as the tools to craft our designs.<br><br> We're still working in the same workshop where we began but we've expanded the work space and are growing as needed to keep up with the demands for our sculptures, chess sets and decor accents.<br><br> We've faced significant challenges over these years. One I remember most was the supply of our materials. Once I was about to replenish designs and the pieces I used as the base of my sculptures were out of stock. I looked in a number of other places but wasn't able to find what I needed. I was told these pieces sold out easily here in the state, so I began seeking out suppliers from all over Mexico.<br><br> In addition to the automotive and bicycle parts and scraps from die-cut metal, I've begun using pieces from suppliers that dismantle firearms. Our standardizing of each sculpture is much better organized. I'm very pleased to have definitively formalized my workshop.<br><br> Today, I'm studying fine arts at the University of Guadalajara. My idea is that this will let me greatly expand my creativity.<br><br> <b>Original Artisan Story</b><br><br> Hi, I'm Armando Ramirez. All my life, I've lived in a town of artisans, and this has motivated me to create new art. As a child, I enjoyed inventing toys and soon yearned to create a unique style of art. Environmentally enamored, I now transform recycled goods.<br><br> At first, little by little, I began to craft figures from scraps and discarded mechanical parts ? mostly from cars and bicycles. And so I began to create sculptures, soldering the pieces together and giving them shape as I imagined they should look.<br><br> The process involves selecting recycled items that can be used. I separate them and soak them in a cleaning solution to remove any impurities. I solder them together until I achieve my design, then I give the finished sculpture a protective coat of glossy varnish.<br><br> My sculptures are so successful that today I sell only my own works. They are rustic in nature, designed to re-utilize discarded objects by converting them into art. Thanks to the creativity that God gave me, today I have an enjoyable and better way of life.