Meet the Brazilian Jewelry Designer Questioning Convention

An exclusive interview with the goldsmith from São Paulo, Flavia Madeira.
Reading time 3 minutes

Subverting traditional notions of jewelry design, São Paulo goldsmith Flavia Madeira seeks inspiration from everyday life. Since 2011, in the creative energy of her city, the designer was chosen to participate in the second season of shoe and accessories brand Melissa's effort to support new artists in Brazil’s biggest city.  

Flavia's work replicates bolts, shells, ladders, and gears into beautiful earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Her process is experimental, allowing inspiration to guide her over the materials. "I do not have a favorite material to work on, but a moment of epiphany when I discover a property that was previously non-existent in my repertoire," she says in an exclusive interview with L'Officiel.


Do you remember the first piece you created? What was it like?

The first piece that I created was the portrait of Pedro Álvares Cabral. Since the beginning of my research, I used discarded pieces of almost no value, like a discarded commemorative coin. The Portrait of Pedro Álvares Cabral consists of a silver pendant with a two-way coin, broken into four parts forming the picture frame and a coin with his face.

At what point did you find yourself in love with jewelry?

Certainly, the first time I was immersed in the basic techniques of a jeweler. After my first work with goldsmithing, I fell in love with the incandescence and the physical state of the metals.

Do you have a method for working?

My method works as an evolutionary gear from one piece to another, every work done brings an extra layer of discovery that is almost always the impetus for new research.

Are you interested in any specific material / form at the moment?

I am very interested in making other dimensions of jewelry, which I dubbed "jewelry for home". I am researching the limits and surprises of talcum powder, which is a non-commercial stone, porous, light and easy to sculpt. From it I am creating a series of water fountains, which should be ready next year, the beauty of talcum stone stands out when it comes into contact with the water, showing its color and internal mixtures.

Has the meaning of the jewel changed for you over the years?

There are several meanings of the jewel and depends a lot on the perspective of how it is seen. We have adorned ourselves for a long time, and I believe it is and always will be a way that the human being finds expression and protection, transforming symbols and materials into identity banners. These materials are mean something to each person, so again, it depends on the perspective. What is a noble material for the queen and what is a noble material for an anthropologist? I think they are very different.

For me the preciousness of the jewel is independent of its raw material, but the way it is elaborated and the ideal that exists behind it.

How do you see the current scenario for young creators?

I see it with enthusiasm. I think we are getting closer to the "do what you like", and increasingly moving towards a success without pretension of exacerbated accumulation. That is, I think people are finally becoming aware that it's worth doing something that leaves you full than participating in a painful mechanical routine.


See more at Flavia Madeira's website here

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