Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Within the energetic ambiance of Lisbon, Portugal is an ancient village known as Alfama. The area is renowned for its well-preserved antiquities like its tiny squares, narrow streets, and the 18th century church Convent of the Grace. Portugal is also home to featured jewelry designer Joana Miranda.

Like her contemporaries Claudia Gill (Dominican Republic), and Ema Takahashi (Japan), Miranda’s creative aptitudes are not confined to jewelry design and jewelry making.

An accomplished musician the designer divides time between creating her stunning modern jewelry items of tarnish-free Argentium sterling silver, and “practicing orchestra.”

The award-winning designer’s love of the arts is no surprise considering both of her parents were also artistically inclined.

“My father, Gil, trained and worked as a lawyer; however, at the same time he pursued his love of music and studied for three years in Paris”, says Miranda.

“My mother, Sharon, is a classically-trained pianist; she and my father met while they were both enrolled at Fontainebleau in Paris. My father’s hobby was jewelry making so I was used to seeing soldering equipment and hearing hammering sounds.

I looked forward to finding the teeniest boxes under the tree at Christmas because I knew he had made some new jewelry especially for me,” she recalls.

Miranda’s who’s who of designer crushes that include Alexis Bittar (USA), Ananda Khalsa (USA), Sevan Bicakci (Turkey), Christo Kiffer (Brazil) and Todd Reed (USA) each provide differentiated levels of inspiration to her elegant aesthetic.

Her clean, sculptural jewelry contains a striking visual language of crisp lines, elegant silhouettes, inlaid resins, and two-tone metal. The monochromatic color schemes of black patinated and high-polished Argentium reinforce the designs’ overall modernistic visual.

Her implementation of subtle minutiae like black rubber rings, carved Lucite, and flirty “confetti” patterns again reiterates to me that minimalist and boring are not interchangeable.

All of her jewelry is hand fabricated meaning “all parts are built from scratch without any casting techniques.” She is exceptionally gifted as the fluidity of line is exquisite.

I particularly love the delicate flow of the Argentium Sterling Silver Twist Pendant Necklace, and the sensual, tactile quality of every design. You want to touch the textures running your finger along the curves, bubbled metal, and recessed areas.

“I am always working to refine my design imagination. My years of training have instilled a deep sense of discipline and dedication to honing my craft.

Maybe one of the most important things I learned while training with master goldsmith Charles Lewton-Brain is setting aside at least one hour per week for “play time” at the bench. This “play time” should not be time spent with the goal of meeting a deadline; it is just about doing what I love.”

More of Miranda’s jewelry can be viewed at her online Etsy store.
Photo 1 (top right): Argentium Sterling Silver Nightscape Pillow Pendant Necklace with Onyx
Photo 2 (center): Argentium Sterling Silver Confetti Circle Pearl Earrings
Photo 3 (bottom left): Frosted Lucite Leaf Lariat with Argentium Sterling Silver Rain Drop Dangle
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