Fine jewelry designer Joana Mieiro is obsessed with architectural shapes and geometry, a result of her architecture studies at the University of Porto. Mimata, “little indulgence” in Portuguese, is the name of her jewelry company and boutique in Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, and the country’s capital for fine jewelry. Mimata draws from the history and cultural heritage of Portugal’s gold making and filigree techniques but each piece of her handmade jewelry, and the clever décor of her boutique, reflects Joana’s fresh and inventive approach. With names like Nest, Geo and Empress, Mimata fine jewelry is cast in 19k yellow gold (a Portuguese tradition) and 18k white gold with pavé diamonds and semi precious gems (SRP $300-$7,000).
Nest, the name of her best selling ring, is made from a cluster of hand wrought 19k yellow and 18k white gold wire anchored with a starburst of pavé diamonds that resembles a bird’s nest. Geo is an empowering statement ring, a cut-out star in a chunk of 19k yellow gold with brilliant-cut diamonds set on top of a layer of polished 18k white gold creating a mirror effect to display the star-shaped crater. Grenade is the name of the collection that features tiny, dangling stylized grenade shapes on stackable rings. The Empress collection mirrors the shape of a tiara and features delicate rings that stack, pendants, earrings and a larger, one-of-a-kind pink quartz ring, all cast in 19k yellow gold. The Moon collection is made with chalcedony and gold and is available as bangles, rings, earrings and pendants. Orion with its brilliant cut diamonds resembles the constellation of the same name.
“I realized my passion for designing things smaller than buildings would be more satisfactory in the end, so I switched from studying architecture to jewelry manufacture and design at the University of Aveiro,” said Joana Mieiro. She graduated in 2007, after taking additional classes at Central St. Martin in London and University of Helsinki. At the University of Milan, she received her Masters in Art and Design created by Richemont Group’s Creative Academy. Her first collection, called Roma, is a cleverly deconstructed octagon inspired by an aesthetic idea of Rome and is still one of her most popular pieces.