Architecture to wear: meet the jewellery designer Ana Bragança
I met Ana (exactly) a year ago. To be completely honest, I looked at her jewellery first, and I loved the shapes, the rigour of the lines, the clean cuts of the pieces, the vibe that remind me of skyscrapers and Richard Serra at the same time. Therefore, I wasn’t surprised to find out that Ana Bragança (www.anabragancajewellery.com) is, actually, an architect in love with jewellery world. “I think of Jewellery as an Applied Art”, she told me. “And I value a lot the fact that my tiny architecture projects are made for people to wear them every day”, said Ana.
I wanted to see more and to find more about the jewellery designer. So, with her new collection “My precious Voltaic Mood” on the table, we talked about what means precious in the world of jewellery today, about the street style looks and the contemporary jewellery as an art form that we embrace and love more and more every day.
Ana Bragança jewellery: www.anabragancajewellery.com
Online shop (www.anabragancajewellery.com) and in stores: Serralves shop || Porto (https://www.serralves.pt/en/info/shop) and ID Concept Store || Braga.
How much is architecture and how much is art in your jewellery?
My work is extremely influenced by my architectural background. I tend to create geometric jewellery and to use basic shapes to achieve clean yet sharp designs. Moreover, since I am both the designer and maker of my jewellery, architecture is also present in the conception and all the design process: it always starts with a sketch of the an idea, which I keep developing through drawing; afterwards I to do small models or 3D images to test scale and dimensions; and only then I produce the piece in its final material. However, more than the composition, the concept or the workmanship, I value a lot the fact that my “tiny architecture projects” are made for people to wear them and I believe this is where art enters my jewellery.
Where do you get the inspiration from?
Everywhere! Nowadays we are exposed to so much information that all sort of inspiration sources arrive to you for free everyday. There is a constant dialogue between me (as artist) and what surrounds me (buildings, people, furniture, nature, bus conversations, expositions, jewellery fairs, art conferences…) and I really try to learn and be inspired by everything.
Which materials are your favourite?
I love to work in sterling silver and until some months ago, my pieces were made exclusively of this precious metal. Meanwhile, I started to question the definition of “precious” and started to wonder if a non-noble material, like for instance steel wire, may ever become precious? When combined with a precious material like silver, can it become precious itself? So these questions lead me to make a new collection called “My precious Voltaic Mood”, where I combine sterling silver (a noble material) with plastified steel wire (a material we can find in any do-it-yourself store).
Where art and jewellery meet?
I think of Jewellery as an Applied Art. I love the idea of people wearing my pieces everyday, even if just to go out to buy bread. They are definitely wearable body adornments, which are not entirely “completed” when standing on the wall just to be admired as a sculpture, for instance. Moreover, when you attempt to make jewellery exist as a conceptual artwork, then there is no doubt that it is a medium for artist expression.
What do you love / what do you hate on street style looks in the modern world (in terms of jewellery)?
I look at street style as a carefully construction of a look that somehow tries to reflect a personality and jewellery is a decisive key in the final perception of the “story” to be told. So, more important than if I like it or not, is the part that jewellery has as a communicative tool – this fascinates me, no matter what style you would adopt.
Your dream collection ever would look like that… (the shapes, the materials, the city to present to… )
A collection that challenges traditional jewellery scale (with XXL and /or XXS dimensions) but that is still wearable in a comfortable way. Then, London is my favourite city in the world, so it’s definitely the place where I would love to present my dream collection one day.
Ana, for short…
I am a Portuguese architect, with a master degree from The Bartlett (UCL), who in 2012 started designing jewellery, learning from a greek contemporary laboratory called Synapeiro (Athens). The hobby became more important than my career so, in 2014, I attended a jewellery course at Cindor (Jewellery Vocational School of Gondomar, Portugal) in order to improve my jewellery skills. In 2015, I have created Ana Bragança Jewellery and, from that moment on, I have been developing my collections between Portugal and Switzerland.
We could buy your jewellery from…
My online shop (www.anabragancajewellery.com) and in stores: Serralves shop || Porto (https://www.serralves.pt/en/info/shop) and ID Concept Store || Braga. On the 13-14 May, at Grand Hotel Boulevard in Bucharest, as I will participate at the contemporary jewellery fair Autor 2017.