I learned jewelry and precious and semi-precious stones, minerals and fossils in their most rare aspect, from my father, Mario Zárate, manufacturer of semi-precious stones, gemologist, jeweler, and goldsmith.
I chose jewelry as my profession – a natural consequence, a family habit…My sister, May Zárate, has also chosen this profession.
In 1988 at the age of 18, I started studying at the “National School of Jewelry” in Buenos Aires.
In 1989 in parallel with studying at the jewelry school, I began taking private lessons with Edgar Michaelsen, who had been my father’s teacher. Learning with him opened new gates before me, gates I could never again leave, though I can’t say I save done my best to do so. I learned to handle the chisel and hammer in order to follow the lines of natural (an exquisite designer), as well as working with silver, gold, bronze, copper and other metals. With Edgar I studied for three, a and half years, in which I worked and lived this art.
In 1992 I started giving jewelry lessons at the Diana Yoffe School, “the Educational Complex of La Joya” (CEJ) in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
In 1997 I moved to Haifa, Israel. I took me some time to acquire the local language (Hebrew) and find my space in “the promised Land”.
For a year I worked at the “Lahat Pearls” Jewelry Studio, handling yellow and white gold, white and black pearls, and diamonds. I was introduced to a new way of dealing with jewelry, new techniques and some other secrets.
Little by little, I opened my own studio. On weekends I would participate in an artisans fair in a town close to Haifa, Zikron Ya’akov. For several years I took part in the artistic exhibitions of “the Holiday of Holidays Festival”- celebrating Hanukah, Christmas and the Ramadan- in Haifa, as well as in individual and collective exhibitions all over Israel and other European countries.
In 2001 after a lot off effort I open mu "Studio-School-Jewelry Gallery" putting there all my energy and what I had learned so far.
Through my classes in Haifa 314 Students passed and I am still in owe to see how my knowledge enters into other people, grows roots and... bloooms.
That same enthusiasm and walked paths are what I offer now in Palo Alto. For a while now there are several people who continue to surprise me and open the doors to my studio with eagerness to learn the secrets of this trade of which I have a lot to say
~314 is a tribute to the students I had in Israel. 314 each and every one of them are in my heart. It is the number that will always remind me that I left "314 jewels" in the Promised Land...~