Catarina Salavisa’s passion for making jewellery saw her training in Lisbon and Istanbul, before bringing her contemporary style to Aberdeen. Here she shares her passion for designing and making minimalist pieces that are perfect for work or play…
‘Even from my earliest years, I always had an interest in tools and machines’, Catarina mused. ‘After completing a degree in hotel management, I felt something was missing and so I started to produce jewellery for friends. Finally my curiosity took me into an artistic jewellery course in Lisbon and to an internship in an Istanbul jewellery atelier. After finishing the course I worked for several jewellers in Lisbon, but always worked on and produced my own range in parallel.
‘My style is contemporary, modern, clean, minimalist. I’m trying to reach simplicity and beauty. It provides an easy communication between the piece and the person who wears or appreciate it.
‘Although I was trained to put my ideas down on paper, to then make a model and only afterwards to start the construction, I don´t do it like that! For me, the best way to develop work is to sit at my workspace and to start to saw and weld, looking to find the next piece shape. My approach is to work by hand from the start. To melt the metal, to make the wire or sheet passing the metal through the rolling mill until it’s the right thickness to start to work. In jewellery one millemetre makes all the difference.
‘This part of the work is very demanding, but for me, it’s always magic. Then the production process starts. It’s the kind of work where you can spend a long time working on one piece, becoming really involved with it.
‘My inspiration comes from daily life, and I try to keep my senses refined so that I can use images, stories, objects, even sounds or messages, I also try to explore different raw natural materials. I just can’t stop collecting things to use as inspiration or materials for my jewellery.
‘Right now I am making my pieces at home, where I have my bench workshop. This is not a perfect situation and I’m hoping to find a space where I can set up an atelier with all the heavy tools I need to keep producing and developing my work. I’d also love to offer classes and workshops facilitating the exchange of knowledge and techniques.
‘Over the years, I’ve developed from a hobbyist to a professional. I am the jewellery designer, the crafter, the manager, the photographer and the model, all in one. Instead of producing one piece, now I have to be able to produce ten or twenty, and in the future
one hundred, and to think of pieces as part of a potential collection.
My jewellery is meant to be simple, beautiful and unique. The pieces tell their own story, and it’s wonderful when people understand the meaning of it.
Catarina’s pieces can be found in Teasel and Tweed in Aberdeen, My Beautiful Caravan in Stonehaven and in Galeria Giv Lowe in Lisbon. She also shares her work on Facebook, Instagram and sells on Etsy.com.
Catarina accepts commissions, working closely with her clients and also shows at local craft fairs.