If you combine ancient techniques with California cool, you’ll get Sarah Swell‘s jewelry aesthetic! This jewelry artist recently opened up a showroom in Sausalito and has been creating more and more yellow gold designs than ever before! Yellow gold, with 18k in particular, is her favorite metal to work with. Sarah says, “I love the richer gold color. For me, it evokes the feel of ancient jewelry. I often use a semi-matte finish on my work which makes the gold seem to glow and the diamonds really pop.” She has created a bridal line that is incredibly gorgeous and although it is available in any metal, she decided to make and feature it in all 18k yellow gold to convey a more “regal feel that is both ancient and modern at the same time.”
Her designs have fascinated me for a long time, and I’m glad to have finally gotten a chance to catch up with this busy designer and see what she’s been up to:
I recently opened a showroom in Sausalito, CA which houses my studio and also showcases my work, so I’ve been refining my vision. I’m also preparing to launch a series of mens bands this Spring as well as continuously adding to my bridal and studio collections.
It really all started when I was 16 and working in an American craft gallery on Cape Cod, MA after school and on weekends. I worked in the jewelry section which is where I initially fell in love with handcrafted jewelry. I was always artistic and really saw jewelry as tiny, wearable sculpture. After high school I began to pursue painting, attending college at the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston. During this time I also worked for a jewelry designer in sales. After a year of Art School I dropped out because I knew I wanted to create something more tangible and have a business that merged art and commerce somehow. I took a metalsmithing class for fun and something clicked. I was certain I wanted to pursue a career as a jewelry designer. I decided to approach it strategically, preparing myself as best as possible in order to have the most chance at success. At that point I began working for a local jeweler in sales and doing bench repairs, learning the ropes. Next, I moved to San Francisco to attend the Revere Academy, a jewelry trade school. After completing the program I went on to work for award winning designer Sarah Graham before launching my business in 2008.
I started my business with a measly $2,000. It has been a long hard road filled with odd jobs along the way to help support myself while building the business slowly and methodically. I’d have to say being able to write myself that first paycheck was an unparalleled feeling!
I hope to keep expanding the reach of the showroom and my brand. I want the showroom to become a mecca for jewelry lovers and plan to add more designers and antique jewelry into the mix creating a well curated museum-like experience. Further down the road I have dreams of expanding the types of metal goods we make to include home and personal accessories that fall in line with my natural-modern aesthetic.
Such a tough question! It would have to be my Egyptian Revial Art Deco inspired engagement ring which I created. What makes it so near and dear to my heart is that it includes the diamond from my late grandmother’s wedding ring. I treasure being able to carry it with me always.
This post was brought to you in collaboration with LoveGold