Ana dos Santos is the artist behind Garnetgirl Studio. She studied fine arts and illustration at the Lesley College of Art and Design (formerly known as the Art Institute of Boston) in MA, graduating with a BFA in 1992. She later pursued studies in art therapy and counseling, graduating from Lesley University in 2002 with an MA in Mental Health Counseling and Art Therapy.
During art school, Ana was drawn to the mediums of color pencil and oil paints, paying close attention to the subtleties of her subject matter, whether it was a figure or an object and especially enjoyed working on small works of art. Although she began working on a larger scale, at the encouragement of her professors, she was always interested in the intimate aspect of a smaller work of art and being drawn closer to “view” and “experience”.
It’s no surprise then, that years later, she has turned her attention to the art of jewelry making where the metal becomes the “canvas”, gems and stones the “palette” and the saw, hammers and files the “brushes”. Ana is especially intrigued by how such aggressive tools and seemingly unyielding materials can be transformed and coaxed into such delicate and beautiful jewelry.
Ana’s background in the arts is evident in the way she chooses and approaches her materials. As an artist and art therapist, she is very much engaged in the creative process and doesn’t usually have a design in mind. Rather, she has a more intuitive approach where she lets the materials ‘speak” to her.
Ana’s informal metal-smithing training began with a basic jewelry class at the Cambridge Adult Ed. This started a love affair with jewelry making. She rented studio space at Joy St. Studios in Somerville, MA where she was also mentored by a master jeweler. Ana is always learning and continues to take various workshops to further advance and perfect her skills.
Her work is influenced and inspired by the natural world, travels and her fascination with antique Portuguese filigree jewelry and by the Japanese aesthetic of Wabi Sabi, or the art of the imperfect.
Ana has shown/sold her work at The Joy St. Studio Open Arts Studio, The Washington St. Open Arts Studio; twice at "Art on the Pews", a juried show in Cambridge MA, and most recently, at the EtsyHandmade Market at Assembly Sq. in Somerville.
In addition, Ana has shared with the public her personal studio to showcase her jewelry and art. Ana has an Etsy store and accepts commissions and recently crafted a wedding band for a couple’s special day.