Marco Polo from Mexico
"Hi, My name is Marco Polo Serrano. Yes, believe it or not, my name is really Marco Polo! I was born in a small artisan town surrounded by handicrafts, as most of my family are artisans. By the age of 13 I had a job in a workshop that made artistic ironwork, and in this way I helped pay for my schooling.
"When I was 18, I quit working to concentrate on my studies. I got married, and my wife is also from a family of artisans.
"When I was 23, she and I decided to open our own workshop with a different design concept, utilizing a metal cutter known as a plasma. I began to work with it, cutting perforated silhouettes from sheet metal. The shapes are cut freehand, and we give them form and texture with a hammer and other tools that I've made myself to create capricious designs. I apply an oxidized finish and protect each piece with a coat of lacquer.
"In this way, a piece of metal is transformed into a decorative accessory -- sometimes rustic, other times modern. All my designs are crafted in my own workshop. They arise from my imagination, from dreams, or whatever comes to mind as I begin to work with the metal."