Today, we are in one of the largest cities in Brazil, Recife. As we stand underneath the awning of an impeccably blue sky with the warm sand beneath our bare feet, we have a wonderful view of the city's incredible metropolitan area. Brazil is also the home of featured jewelry designer Clementina Duarte.
What little girl hasn't fantasized about castles and princesses? Clementina Duarte was no exception.
Blessed with artistic ability, as a girl Duarte loved drawing images of royalty with princesses dressed in lavish lace and emeralds. Her early fascination with jewels and royal splendor would become a precursor for things to come.
Duarte boasts an impressive resumé spanning four decades. She has studied at the School of Architecture in Recife; enrolled in a Master's program at the University of Brasilia where, upon graduation, she taught History of Architecture at the Faculty of Architecture; she had an internship at the Institut d' Art et Métiers in Paris; and she has won numerous awards and displayed her innovative designs at many exhibitions.
Inspired by architecture and the magnificent flora of tropical forests, Duarte has designed alternately chunky and delicate designer jewelry. In 1982, after an exhibition in Abu-Dhabi of the United Arab Emirates, Duarte displayed her jewelry of pearls, diamonds, and emeralds in the palace of Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan and Queen Fátima Al Nahyan.
The designer's wares made an indelible impression as the royal family then commissioned Duarte to design and create jewelry for the wedding of one of their daughters. Duarte's beautiful designs have also adorned Queen Elizabeth II, Rosalyn Carter, and Hillary Clinton.
In 2006, Duarte released a book entitled Clementina Duarte - The Art and Design of Modern Brazilian Jewelry, which documents some of her work and includes 350 pictures of her creations. Duarte says of the book, "The book is a celebration of more than 40 years of creation and design."
Photo 1 (top right): Gold Earrings from the Ritmus Collection
Photo 2: (bottom left): Gold and Diamond Necklace and Earrings from the Amazônia Collection