Followers: Giovanna Barbosa

The artist Giovanna Barbosa (1) has gained world recognition with her fine shell-made jewelry, using shells combined with more noble materials. Born in Vitória, the State Capital, she lived with her husband at Praia da Costa, an exclusive neighborhood in Vila Velha. She started working with shells in 1998, when she became widowed and moved to Ponta da Fruta, another small southern beach town. Walking daily on the beaches, her attention was drawn to the large amount of raw material left in the sand by the sea waves, and understood the possibility of make a living with them.

She produces original objects with unique design, creating a new visual to the hand-made shell works. Her pieces, made with sophisticated techniques in different color tones, enriched with tempered glass and mirrors, capture public attention in national and international trade shows.

The success of her labor induced her to open a space where other artisans could show their works. As a result, the “Artisans’ Association” was born, the first show-room for fine shell craft in the state. Giovanna also created the atelier “Gibarbosa Presentes e Artesanatos”, where she works in association with 43 families of shell collectors.

Her piece, “Ballerina in aluminum with shell skirt ” won her the award “Top 100 Artfact Award” (Prêmio Top 100 de Artesanato), 2006-2008, and the “Women Entrepreuners” (Mulheres Empreendedoras) in 2007, both launched by Sebrae. Besides the beauty and originality of her pieces, these awards were a result of the social work she realizes with shell-collector families (2).


Text: Manaira Medeiros, writer, journalis, ambientalist.