Susana Martins’ fascination with the history of jewelry and jewelry-making began at a young age. Born in a traditional goldsmithing town between Porto and Braga in northern Portugal, her surroundings significantly contributed to her worldview.
Fueled by her passion for the art form, she initially trained as a stone-setter before undertaking a goldsmith apprenticeship that allowed her to learn the local artisans’ most ancient and complex techniques. Susana earned her post-graduate diploma in Jewellery Design from the School of Arts at Oporto Catholic University to enhance her knowledge further. Upon additional qualifications as a gemologist and diamond grader, Susana compiled this deep foundation of knowledge and experience to launch her eponymous label, Susana Martins (SMJ).
Now based in Dubai, Susana continues to oversee every aspect of the jewelry-making process, from sourcing and cutting gemstones to producing the finished piece. Her depth of understanding of her craft liberates her creativity, allowing her to conceive an idea and bring it to fruition seamlessly. This ease, born of intense study and dedication to her craft, enables the designer to convey a range of experiences through her work. “My pieces are not about self-expression as much as they are about how they communicate with our sense, memory, emotions, and body,” she explains. “SMJ is a gateway to share my passion for all things creative, inspiring people’s lifestyle through exceptional product experiences.”
Susana’s aesthetic is heavily influenced by various historical periods, particularly the Art Deco era, due to its widespread influence across the arts and the techniques pioneered in jewelry making at the time. Driven by the intersection of architecture and design, her pieces reflect this passion through texture, balance, and the confluence of geometric and fluid lines.
The human form plays a significant role in Susana’s creative process. Many pieces in her prolific work incorporate the body into the design. Her Unstoppables collection, inspired while sitting with a dear friend and witnessing her expressing herself with her hands, was created with no “front” or “behind” in mind. “Our hands’ motions inspire the 360° perception present in each piece and the energy we project into the activity around us,” she says. From ear climbers to ear cuffs to rings designed around negative space, her designs boast unique dimensions that defy perceptions of both space and geometry.
WORK, COMMISSIONS, COLLABORATIONS
- Clerkenwell Design Week – LONDON – artist exhibition in partnership with Munna Design
- Maison & Objet – PARIS – product launch within the Heritage Revisited collection with Munna Design
- Decorex International – LONDON – artist exhibition
- Millionaire Fair – AMSTERDAM – guest designer showcase at the “Highlights Corner.”
- Oporto Show – PORTO – product design exhibition
- Divulgarte Art Gallery – PORTO – curator of contemporary jewellery exhibitions
- Oikos – PORTO – participation in “Artists for Solidarity” exhibition – Collective
- Museo Automobilistico de Malaga – SPAIN – permanent exhibition of a “jeweled” sculpture commission for the Jaguar Lounge and a “Crystallized” Rolls Royce in collaboration with Swarovski
- Author of the PORTUGAL MASTERS TROPHY OF GOLF – Commissioned by Portugal’s Tourism Office and PGA – Professional Golf Association
- Stuart Moore Gallery – NEW YORK – art deco-inspired collection. Commissioned 2012
- Member of COUTURE SHOW Designer’s Community, LAS VEGAS
- Brand Partner of The Editorialist Magazine – New York
- Jared Browns – Toronto
- Lido Jewellers – San Juan
- Founder of the Alserkal Avenue’s Jewellery Factory, DUBAI – Creative Director & Co-Founder, 2015 – 2017
- Creative Consultant & CEO Savolinna Jewelry, DUBAI – 2017 to the present
- Member of the jury panel of the 1st edition of “The Gulf 3D Printing Olympiad” held in Dubai, an event part of “UAE Innovation Week” powered by ATLAB – 2015
- Member of DBWC, Dubai Business Women Council
- Global Trusted E-Network Member – Dubai Chamber of Commerce & Industry
- Made in The Emirates by Sotheby’s Dubai – a collective exhibition of jewellery exclusively crafted in UAE – 2021
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