Home | Interview | Q&A: “Nature” Cristina Vinhas’ jewelry exhibition - “I create emotions - for me and for others”

Q&A: “Nature” Cristina Vinhas’ jewelry exhibition - “I create emotions - for me and for others”

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Nature” is the first solo exhibition by Cristina Vinhas, a Portuguese jewelry maker who lives in Macau. Following her biggest motivation “to create unique shapes”, the currently displayed collection was inspired by the texture and shapes of organic elements, such as coral, ginseng root, pork organs, trees and tree trunks, dried roots, lotus flower seeds and birds. She also followed the example of already existing functional objects, such as the buttons on Chinese classical dresses, turning their shape into rings.
Cristina Vinhas started her artistic career in 2003 after finishing her course at the vocational training center of the gold and watch industry in Portugal. In 2007 she moved to Macau, where she creates her own pieces and also teaches the art of jewelry making at the Casa de Portugal. Her classes include “Jewelry for beginners and advanced”, and the techniques of filigree, chiselling, resins, lost wax, engraving and others.
In 2011 the Macau Art Net chose her as artist of the month.
Macau Daily Times met the artist at the Creative Macau, where her pieces are being displayed until the 31st.
MDT- Do you create jewelry more as «l’art pour l’art” or for the purpose of being used?
Cristina Vinhas - When I create a new piece my main objective is to create something new, new emotions but also to be usable...I try to reconcile both.
MDT- Is your main aim to exhibit or to sell the pieces?
CV - I would like to have one line to sell and another to exhibit.
MDT - Who are your best customers?
CV - Women.
MDT - Where do you find the material for the pieces?
CV - In Macau and Guangzhou.
MDT -  Do you have to struggle with language barriers to get it?
CV - No, the language in this case it is not a problem.
MDT - Can you describe the technique(s) used in your exhibition?
CV - With almost all of the pieces I started by getting the shapes from various objects first in silicone, then in wax, and then with the “lost wax” technique, in silver. Only three pieces were developed on paper to be executed afterwards in silver wire.
MDT - Did you learn something new about making jewelry after moving to Macau?
CV -  I m always learning, because I’ m always having new experiences.
MDT - Did something about your style/technique change here?
CV - Yes I changed indeed the type of work I am doing. Now I not only create pieces to be used as jewelry, but to be exhibited. I do more art work.
MDT - Are there good sources of inspiration for your work in Macau/China?
CV - Yes, there are good inspirational sources, everything is so different here…the natural beauty of things or nature itself, the materials, the opera, the traditional crafts and many others...
MDT - Is there something you still want to learn about making jewelry, for example a new technique?
CV - Yes, there are some techniques I want to experience, for example working with “Rhinoceros”, where you do the design for the model and the mould on the computer.
MDT - How long does it take you to make one of these collars?
CV - Many days. The process it is slow…for the wood collection for example.
MDT - You also teach jewelry making. Are there men in the classes?
CV - Yes of course, they are mixed classes.
MDT - Are you in your dream job?
CV - For jewelry making, there is no doubt about it. And teaching is a rewarding complement.
MDT - What is the perfect profession for you?
CV - I need to create! I create emotions - for me, and for others.

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