Maria João Bahia
Given the growth and acceptance that the brand had in the market, in 2011 it embraces a new challenge regarding its expansion and consolidation. Thinking of future growth, ambition, and vision, it acquires a new building in Avenida da Liberdade. A typical five store “Pombalino” building, where all the activities are centralized: the atelier, the manufacture, a permanent exhibition space, “Boutique & Shop”, and administration area.
In this new phase, we highlight the creation of the Reliquary in Honor of St. Vincent, the patron Saint of the city of Lisbon. An authentic work of art offered to Your Holiness the Pope Benedict XVI, by the Lisbon Cardinal Patriarch.
Along with this work, Maria João Bahia has been developing Design objects of great symbolic and commemorative meaning, including her first artistic intervention in open area, a sculpture that celebrates the 300 years of the Convent of Mafra. Among other trophies are the Golden Globes of SIC Caras, the trophy for Football Professional Players Syndicate, and “Vinhos Trophy”, “Mercúrio Trophy”, “BPI Trophy”, “Cotec Trophy”, “Universidade Católica Trophy”.
Following her activity as a Designer, she has developed a creative concept for utilitarian objects such as cutlery, table centerpieces, candelabra, candlesticks, belts, purses, and scarves. With this new project, additional to jewelry, the brand Maria João Bahia grown and multiplies its creative universe
Owner of unique qualities and a strong vocation for the “Art of Alchemy”, Maria João Bahia decides to interrupt her studies in Law at the beginning of the ’80s and engages in a dream. In 1980 she starts an intensive apprenticeship in goldsmith and jewelry manufactures. In Oporto, she makes a practical training at Manuel Alcino’s workshop, and later in Lisbon at Raúl Ferreira’s.
At the same time, she starts drawing course at Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes de Lisboa, and later she makes internships abroad.
In 1982 Maria João Bahia accomplishes a dream when launching the brand that bears her name in Rua da Madalena, Lisbon.
Maria João Bahia received many invitations to execute works which supported and strengthened her name as a national jewelry benchmark.
Ever since the beginning, the work of Maria João Bahia has been different and authentic. Keeping the distinctive feature along the years, she developed, amongst others, a collection of jewels for a company of diamond polishing, Holshuijsen-Stoeltie Diamonde. She exhibited her work at the New York International Fair, where one of her pieces was auctioned at the “Manhattan Cachet”.
Besides important participations at events like Eropalia’91, she exhibited in Brussels, in Paris at the Palais des Congrès, in Amsterdam at the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, in London at the Royal College of Art, and in Copenhagen at the Old Stock Exchange, amongst others.
All along these years, she had several solo exhibitions in Portugal and abroad, namely in Paris, Brazil, and Angola.
All these works, challenges, knowledge, apprenticeship, and acquired experience are somehow reflected in each piece she creates.
The Creative Process
The creative act is a process of transformation ad apprenticeship in constant evolution and must be developed in total freedom. Reason and Emotion are always present, but often intuition gets ahead of the process. Each piece, a jewel or a piece of Design, has its unique essence, its own identity.
“A piece is finished when it makes the observer break the apparent outline of things, and look for the essence of the underlying idea”. – Maria João Bahia
The brand Maria João Bahia builds its reputation in a universe of dreams which doesn’t limit imagination. To innovate by appealing to different materials opens the door to a source of creation which, in turn, simulates a parade of ideas in those who value these Fairy Tale objects.
An example of the opening to a new dimension happened while working with the mysterious universe of glass and crystal. Natural characteristics of the material, such as being translucent, stimulate and launch different projections of the creative act.
Creativity is spontaneous to Maria João Bahia. An artistic sensibility especially attentive to the world around and an educated sense of taste are reflected in unrivaled pieces, full of feeling and meaning.