Discomfort is an acquired taste, as is much contemporary jewelry. But feeling uncomfortable ignites self-consciousness and elicits a state of heightened alert. (…) And sometimes being uneasy in the world is the only way to achieve comfort with one’s own skin.

Suzanne Ramljak, Contemporary Jewelry in Perspective, p 219


It’s difficult to dissociate a traditional piece of jewelry from the body, for this is its carrier, its reference and the place where the piece is finally complete.

The contemporary approach often questions this relationship, launching provocations, challenging conventions, testing physical boundaries and altering the perception of the viewer through wearable sculptures that stand on the frontier between the functional object and the work of art.


But what happens once we use the body not only as a display but also as a source of inspiration?

How can the body shift from scenery to an active participant of the creative process?


There are jewels that mark and pierce the body and jewels that don’t even touch it, exemplary cases of utility and ergonomics and also great examples of superficiality and discomfort.

Is the jewelry piece supposed to be an adornment that aims to serve and enhance this human display, an autonomous artistic object or a foreign element that harms it?


Let’s take a look at the body and find more than what’s palpable and visible, an entire universe composed of layers of tissues, structures and information. Colors, textures, shapes, limbs, organs, bones, veins, nerves, muscles, cells, hair, fluids, gestures, movements, senses and sensations.


The inspiration in the body can include formal references, even as source for raw materials. It can be a starting point for new approaches on jewelry making, a search for new areas to place the jewel, a changed perception of the human anatomy and the establishment of different levels of relationships between jewel and body. It may simply be the formal exteriorisation of something that is usually hidden or unnoticed at first sight.


Once again we are here to raise questions, to challenge and not to restrict - we want to open our eyes as we open horizons, inviting jewelers to take inspiration from anatomy in this new Challenge - challenge yourselves!



With the main objective to show the quality and diversity of contemporary jewelry, opening its doors to the general public, Tincal lab invites every year jewelers from around the world for a Challenge: the creation of up to 3 pieces with the maximum price of 100€, inspired by a theme.

From this Open Call launched annually in June results an international collective exhibition of unique characteristics, consisting of about 100 exclusive jewelry pieces created by the 40 to 45 jewelers selected by the jury. The opening is at Tincal lab on November,  on the date of Simultaneous Openings event in Miguel Bombarda quarter, in Porto, accompanied by the release of a catalog.

In each edition, since 2018, has been awarded the Selection of the Jury Award and two Selection of the Public Awards (voting in person and online), consisting of an exhibition at Tincal lab over the following year.


In 2019, the fifth edition of Tincal lab Challenge launches the theme: Jewelry and Anatomy.


>> Event in facebook



From November 9th to December 31st of 2019



Ana Pina (Portugal) | representing Tincal lab

Graduated in architecture (FAUP, 2004), worked in this area for some years before discovering the world of jewelry. She’s been developing her personal brand since 2012, after a course at Engenho e Arte School. In 2015 she founded Tincal lab, a work, sale, exhibition and dynamization space dedicated to contemporary jewelry, in the center of Porto.


Áurea Praga (Portugal) | representing Jewelry

Illustrator and jewelry maker, combining these two fields in her work. Post-Graduated in Jewelry Design and Master in Design, both at ESAD Matosinhos. Graduated in Communication Design, by FBAUP. At the moment she is Coordinator of the Jewelry Department and teaches at ESAD Matosinhos since 2016.


Paulo Rui Monteiro (Portugal) | representing Anatomy

Graduated in Medicine (FMUP, 1995), with specialty in Reconstructive and Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, highlight to the title of Fellow of the European Board of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, 2005. He develops combined surgical activity in several public and private units of the country. Since always also a lover of fine arts.


[photo credit: Anatomie Pour l'Artiste, Sarah Simblet/John Davis]



Tincal lab | info@tincallab.com | +351 962 949 333 | CCBombarda, Rua Miguel Bombarda, 285, loja 25 | Porto, Portugal