Monica Carvalho

Acai seeds. Tucuma palm seeds. Jarina palm seeds.
No, these are not packets in a landscapers’ supply in Brazil. These are some of the organic materials, Rio De Janeiro native, Monica Carvalho uses to make her jewellery and other fashion accessories.

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She uses these organic bits of plant matter to make necklaces, bracelets, pendants, rosaries, and even to cover small evening clutches. Bean pods and native Brazilian plant fibres are also incorporated into her pieces. Monica Carvalho started out as an English teacher and translator. After a time she studied Art in Rio, New York and Paris before setting up her atelier not far from the Botanical Gardens back in Rio. Now she teaches Art at a Municipal School in Rio De Janeiro as well as continues her work in “organic” jewellery design.
A carved seed bracelet designed by Carvalho uses black tucuma seeds or jarnia seeds, also called “vegetable ivory” due to its white colour, hardness and sheen. The bracelet consists of many strands of seeds that wrap around your wrist. The clue is shaped like a jequitibá pod and made of silver. Another interesting piece is a jarina and acacia branca bead pendant on a leather cord. The small red seed of the acacia branca (Horseradish or Drumstick Tree) is above the much larger jarina seed. The jarina seed is naturally an ivory colour with dark brown sections that look almost like painted swirls. Monica Carvalho’s rain forest-inspired pieces will add an “organic” accent to any season’s wardrobe.

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