By Emma Sharp Dalton-Brown
“When I read that Leonardo da Vinci and I shared the same birthday (April 15th), I knew my fate was sealed,” Jamaican-born Anna Ruth Henriques revealed to Made in Jamaica Catalogue. “I was seven years old,” the artist, who loved drawing and painting from a very early age continued. Henriques followed her passion, and as an adult has become a well-known and recognized artist both at home and in the diaspora.
Anna’s art often tells a story about her own life, or opens a window through which the viewer may become empowered. These attributes ring true in her jewelry designs, which she happened upon through fate, again. “A friend asked me to do a wax carving class with her in jewelry design,” Ms. Henriques informed us. “I took the class with her, and one thing led to another…”
The creations of Anna Ruth Henriques are more about art than the bog standard retail jewelry we see in high-street shops and malls. While she will do a standard solitaire diamond set in platinum, for an individual customer, her pieces have a unique creativity about them. The artist jeweler proclaims that, “Jamaica is my soul, and my soul comes through all of my work.
If people’s souls are open, then they immediately love my work.” Growing up outdoors in Jamaica has been a huge influence to H e n r i q u e s ’ artistry, much of which is nature-based. For example, hand-painted images of butterflies and dragonflies are sealed behind conflict-free gemstones encased in pendants and rings, and tiny 18K gold spiders are set on the gemstones of droplet earrings.
“The difficult part of my work is coming up with pieces that gives something that is relevant to a client and has some sort of meaning to them,” Anna admitted. “I want to inspire the wearer, to make them feel better or stronger about themselves,” she went on. The meaning behind this artist’s ‘canvas’ is everything to her, but she enhances the beauty of her pieces by paying attention to the details of the form she is creating.
Anna Ruth Henriques lives in Manhattan, New York, and continues to paint, write and design. Many of her jewellery pieces contain her original paintings and drawings she has done in the past. She makes frequent trips back home to Jamaica, and is currently working on several projects with fellow Jamaicans.
More about Anna’s Jewellery
Pieces can be found at: Fragments (New York), Gallery of Jewels (San Francisco), Talisman Collection (California), Reinhold Jewelers (Puerto Rico), Fireworks Gallery (Canada) as well as the Museum of Arts and Design (New York), and the Museum of Natural Science (Houston), Les Artisans (St. Barts) and more.
Word has been featured in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, Oprah and more.
Clients include Madonna, Mariska Hargitay, Jennifer Connolly, Whoopie Goldberg and more.