New Mexico artist Ramón José López worked for a few years in construction before beginning his career as a jeweler and silversmith. The grandson of noted santero Lorenzo López, he uses many of his grandfather's tools in his work. Ramón López has said, "My traditional work [lets] me see how influenced I really was by my heritage, my history. It showed me my roots [and] opened my eyes. I want to achieve the level of those old masters what they captured emotions, so powerful, so moving." López researches traditional methods and materials and masters them in his contemporary silver and gold jewelry, hollowware, painted hides, reredos, escudos (reliquaries), and blacksmithing. In addition, he also produces ecclesiastical vessels, chalices with patens, pyxes, rosary boxes, furniture, and architectural elements.
Jonathan Yorba Arte Latino: Treasures from the Smithsonian American Art Museum (New York and Washington, D.C.: Watson-Guptill Publications, in cooperation with the Smithsonian American Art Museum, 2001)