As a studio artist trained in fine arts, I use line drawings and color renderings to capture my ideas and concepts. Many of my inspirations come from the botanical world. As a classically trained goldsmith, I employ a large array of various ancient and modern goldsmithing techniques when building my jewelry pieces, often creating rich textures and surface contrasts. Being the designer and maker at the same time allows for the fluid interpretation from the idea to the sketch to the creation of the finished jewelry.
I enjoy creating a contemporary feel in my jewelry while also instilling classical elements and proportions. Ultimately I envision my pieces being enjoyed for a long time, even for several generations. This is only possible when solid and clean fabrication methods are matched with a strong sense of design. I strive for a delicate balance of color, form, and proportion in each piece of jewelry to achieve a timeless sense of beauty that will delight for many years.
– Barbara Heinrich
Barbara Heinrich’s ability to interpret nature through her jewelry stems from her desire to create since she was very young. Growing up on her family’s winery in Germany, it was natural for Barbara to make something beautiful out of anything she found in the woods or meadows. From flowers to special stones, rocks or snail shells, she would pierce and string together these found treasures to create jewelry. Since the 1500s, Barbara’s family has been winemakers and growers in Heilbronn, near the Black Forest, where Barbara studied before arriving in the U.S. It is here where she honed her sense of observation and embraced her surroundings—inspired by nature, art, architecture and music.
Barbara in her family vineyard.
Barbara studied jewelry and hollowware design in Germany after completing a formal goldsmith apprenticeship. When she finished her degree at Pforzheim College of Design in 1983, she received a Rotary scholarship. This gave Barbara an opportunity to study in the U.S., where she completed her Masters of Fine Art at Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT). Soon after, she opened the Barbara Heinrich Studio, which has been a successful business for 35 years.
Through handmade pieces of jewelry, Barbara has transformed her vision and ideas into inspirited, wearable pieces of art. All of her work is crafted in her upstate New York studio where she creates her delicate designs and signature styles with traditional goldsmithing techniques. Barbara and her talented, professionally trained team of jewelers create pieces featuring exceptional multi-textured finishes, primarily in 18-karat gold. It is this process that has defined her signature European look and recognition as an award-winning jeweler. Barbara handpicks colorful, precious stones which combine with the soft nature of brushed gold to form the foundation for her new designs. Barbara believes picking the right stone creates a dialogue between the wearer and the piece. The gemstones and gold are treasures from the earth, providing strength and a connection to our spirit. The essence of her style embodies a distinctive union between classic and contemporary design sensitivity.
Currently, Barbara is an active member of numerous professional jewelry organizations and is considered a leader in the art jewelry world. She is the recipient of various national and international awards, including the 2009 Couture: Best of Gold, the 2011 MJSA Vision Award for 1st Place in Gold Distinction, the 2011-2012 Fashion Award, and the Luster Award from the International Pearl Design Competition given by the Cultured Pearl Association of America. Her work has been featured in a wide array of recognized international books and publications, most recently Women Jewellery Designers by Juliet de la Rochefoucauld, 2017.
Video courtesy of Telluride Insider.
Barbara established the Barbara Heinrich Studio as a sacred space to pursue her authentic vision in Rochester, New York in 1986 following her graduation from RIT. When creating the Studio, Barbara reflected on her experience working in studios and repair shops, and intentionally designed a clean, open space that was full of light with cathedral ceilings to inspire the creative process. This space supports the spiritual aspect of Barbara’s design approach.
The Barbara Heinrich Studio is a renowned name among art galleries and collectors of contemporary studio jewelry. It is founded on originality of design, excellence in craftsmanship and wearability. Each piece is stamped with the Studio’s registered trademark oak leaf indicating its authenticity and origin.
The Studio’s jewelry team shares a high level of technical abilities and is comprised of apprentices, recent college graduates and master goldsmiths. Barbara created a college internship program and has brought international college graduates with H-1 visas to work in her studio in gratitude for receiving her own scholarship to come to the U.S. For Barbara a real studio experience in the European tradition of apprenticeships is a crucial part of learning. The jewelry team is supported by a professional office staff, which is praised by customers for excellent service and promptness.
New pieces are constantly being created in preparation for the Studio’s regular participation in tradeshows and gallery exhibitions. Please refer to the events calendar for a current listing of scheduled shows.
Our care instructions for your Barbara Heinrich Jewelry.
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Further reading and information about Babara Heinrich and the Studio.
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