Ana Sales is delightful and absolutely cheerful. I know this even before I meet her by the way she answers my emails. When I reached out to Ana for an atelier visit she was about to move her studio to a noble area of town: the downtown Lisbon district. I was more than happy to wait for that move to happen cause I absolutely love that part of town! When I get to her studio I decide to take the stairs to her floor. It’s a typical downtown Baixa building, recently renovated, and in a beautiful narrow street. Ana had told me on her last email that they had unpacked everything but didn’t have electricity yet and that turned out to be just fine cause this was a bright, sunlit studio.
A smiling Ana opens the door to her beautiful space. There’s a showroom area, with beautiful windows and the sunlight is coming in. What attracted me to Ana Sales jewelry were the beautiful, delicate filigree pieces that she does. If you know anything about making jewelry, you know those are hard as hell to do, which makes her a very talented jeweler. Also, she’s pretty young and I’m extremely happy to see that young, talented designers like Ana are finally able to follow their passion in life and make a living out of it! As I start drooling over her pieces, she’s telling me how she started: she was doing a BS in Architecture but got disenchanted with the course & classes and started taking jewelry classes at the Contacto Directo school (fun fact: her mom was the one who told her to check the jewelry school). It turned out that she was “good” at it and as her pieces sold more it gave her a chance to get her business started. As she is telling me this, Mafalda Maya (that shares the studio with Ana and will be a studio visit as well) bursts into the room to tell me that Ana is being too humble. She tells me that Ana really impressed their jewelry teacher with her natural talented and that she fostered her into doing more intricate pieces.
And yes, Ana’s pieces have this delicate, intricate, feminine look to them: borderline contemporary jewelry but extremely wearable and fun. I’m having a blast while Ana tries her pieces on and laughs while telling me their stories. I love that there are still boxes to unpack and that there are still shelves to be put on the wall. All the tools and big machinery are ready to be used and they’re just waiting for the electricity guy to drop by and let her get her flashaft started.
I promised to come by again and do a follow up – I will, so stay tuned for this summer! (oh…and I’ll bring some tourmalines with me).
Thanks Ana for a lovely studio visit, I look forward to see her awesome new filigree creations!
Ana Sales Jewelry
How did you become a jewelry designer / jeweler?
“I was studying architecture and not liking it, when my mum told me about a jewelry school. So I thought it would be fun, for a change. And it was the best decision of my life.”
What’s the first thing you do when you get to the studio?
“I’m usually the first one arriving, so I open all the windows to let the sun in and check my emails before I sit at my bench.”
What do you like most about your space?
“It’s still new so for now I love everything about it! But maybe the light. And the fact that we are downtown.”
Pick 3 objects in your studio that make the space yours?
“My bench! My dad and I saved it some time ago and I love the result! My chair was from my old high school and I had the chance to bring it home. And there is always some music playing on my iPod.”
What’s your favorite spot on the studio?
“Always my bench! And having lunch by that window.”
Any studio rituals?
“I always open all the windows, no matter how long I’ll stay in the studio. And tea. We always have tea and buy lots of it. It’s never too much!”
What do you love/hate doing at the bench?
“I absolutely love to saw and make filigree. And I hate to sand and polish. I’m always trying to skip that part (unsuccessfully…!)”
What makes you procrastinate?
“My boyfriend… he’s the main reason I can’t stay all day in the studio, most of the time! But it’s for a good reason…! And sometimes the rain…I really need lots of sun and light to keep working.”
Coffee or tea?
“Tea and coffee candies!”
What is currently inspiring you?
“Nature is always there…and now, mostly leaves. I’m loving dry leaves!”
What piece of jewelry do you always wear?
“I don’t always wear something, but I try to wear something mine everyday”
Currently obsessed with which gemstones/metal?
“I am forever obsessed with tourmalines! All those colors just drive me nuts!”
Piece of jewelry you’re most proud of?
“A ginkgo Biloba necklace I made at school.! It’s big and took a lot of time to make but it came out really pretty and I love to wear it!”
What’s your dream jewelry piece?
“Maybe a big necklace with lots of volume and maybe all in filigree…something really light and big. Just gold, no gems.”
Worst piece of jewelry you had to design?
“The most awful wedding rings! (can’t draw them…)”
What’s the longest period of time you spent at the studio and why?
“I think maybe until 11pm…I’m a morning person, so this is something! I was helping a friend with an order.”
The best thing a client ever told you?
“That the wedding rings I made them would be a great start to their “forever” life together.”
The funniest thing a client has ever told you?
“Can’t remember…but there are funny clients sometimes!”
What’s on your desk right now?
“All kinds of things, I’m trying to clean it!”
If you weren’t a jewelry designer?
“Maybe an architect?”