Addressing jewellery in an experimental way: OPACA

We were strolling in Porto (Portugal), when we discovered OPACA. Why were we caught by this brand? Unlike other jewellery brands, OPACA approaches the creation of jewellery in an experimental way.

This means, as explained by Catarina Dantas, the communication designer behind OPACA, that textures are studied in detail and focus is set on the features of the materials used for the creation of the jewellery. The process and the final outcome are equally important. The creation of OPACA is very recent: the brand dates back to 2014 but its conceptualisation has its roots in Mexico City, where it all started in 2012/2013…it all grew and continues in Porto.OPACA does not correspond to a traditional brand: it aims at distancing users and viewers from the classical concepts of jewellery, while setting a link to the materiality and multi-possibilities of the area. “In all the objects created there is a strong effort to incorporate an innovative approach whereby the lines between ornament and experience and also between user and who sees it are blurred. The result of this process is a language that expresses such a duality by embracing delicacy and roughness”, states Catarina. OPACA currently consists of two projects. OPACA N°1 is characterized by a minimalist and graphical approach to jewellery. “Some of the pieces were designed as a module and explored the contrast between metal and low-life materials”, explains Catarina.

OPACA N°2 investigated a mechanical approach to nature. Catarina describes this collection as raw pieces with apparent simplicity with mechanical and organic forms as well. The outcomes? Melted plants or flower skeletons, to name just a couple of examples. Another aspect characterizing OPACA’s approach is the absence of reproductions of collections twice a year, as most of the traditional brands do. Therefore, each collection is not an isolated project, which, whenever possible, allows a detachment from the fashion world. Among the most common materials used, the highlights are silver or golden brass. There were also jewels characterised by a combination of wood and plastic/acrylic with those noble materials. “The pieces are initially made by hand in the studio and whenever needed there is a small group of people that participate in the process – carving stones, laser cutting, manufacturing thread, sheets or tubes”, describes Catarina. Currently, the jewellery pieces can be found in the online shop as well as in a store in the centre of Porto, CRU Cowork. Pieces by OPACA will be sold at the ICKX gallery in Brussels from December 2015 and more stores are yet to come. Catarina and her team are currently working on a new project, which will be finalized in the following months. Moreover, OPACA will be presented at a collective exhibition, Tincal lab, in the centre of Porto.

Photo credits: OPACA

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