Miel-Margarita Paredes is a metalsmith, jewelry maker and stop-motion puppet skeleton builder. She was born in Suva, Fiji, where her neighbors owned a pig named Houdini because of his frequent attempts to escape into the mangrove swamp. Memories of that large smelly animal and the delicious dinner he became have stayed with Miel through her adult life, while she studied metalsmithing at California College of Art and Craft in Oakland and the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Her metalwork incorporates the animal figure and traditional ornamental devices to interpret the ways in which we humans manipulate our environment to suit our needs; deconstructing and reconstructing both inanimate and animate objects. She lives with her husband, two children, two cats, six fish and is growing a wildflower garden outside her home studio window in Portland, Oregon.