Thursday, June 4, 2009


We are surrounded by so much natural beauty today; I don't know where to begin. We visitGrande Sertão Veredas National Park in Minas Gerais, Brazil.

The park's name was derived from Brazilian author Guimaraes Rosa's book of the same name [sans the national park]. As we walk along the park's trails, we may catch a glimpse of a giant armadillo, or a stealthy puma. Brazil is also home to featured jewelry designer Melissa Maia.

A long-time global supplier of precious gemstones, Brazil is fast becoming a force in cultivating skilled jewelry artisans as well. Jewelry design curriculum has been implemented in schools from Rio de Janeiro to Minas Gerais.
Along with veteran Brazilian designer Clementina Duarte, Maia is definitely riding the wave of Brazil's creative revolution. Maia loves fine art and actively releases her creative energy through painting. She received a degree in Interior Decoration from the Metallo Nobile School in Florence, Italy.

Keeping in sync with Brazil's explosion into the jewelry industry, Maia has refined her skills to produce elegant, modern jewelry designs. Her signature style appears to be offsetting beautiful 18-karat gold, or sterling silver leaf motifs with intricate weave patterns and vivid gemstones. Exhibitions across the globe from New York to Italy to Switzerland have featured Maia's stylish designer jewelry.

In 2002, her provocative 18-karat gold leaf adorned leather belt, called Indigenous Sensuality, won first place in the AngloGold Designer Forum's "Brazilian Essence" category. The following year, the Feninjer Trade Show featured Maia's work in its exhibition "Jewels: The Color of Brazil;" and in 2007, Maia represented Brazilian jewelry styles at the Brazilian Institute for Gems and Metals' Milano More Exhibition.
Photo 1 (top center): 18-Karat Open Gold Cuff Bracelet with Leaf Motif
Photo 2 (bottom center): 18-Karat Gold Dangle Earrings
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