San Francisco, California
By incorporating innovative materials with her exceptional design sense, Sarah Graham creates jewelry that is unlike anything else; organic, textural, with a muted palate that is subtly feminine, yet substantial; unique, yet universal in its appeal. The natural inspiration behind the jewelry – whether cast directly from Jacaranda Pods and decayed wood or rendered in wax from a microscopic view of single cell marine organisms – gives her designs a texture and feel that makes them infinitely wearable. But it is the matte black finish of oxidized cobalt chrome juxtaposed with 18k yellow, rose and white gold, set with colored diamonds, that is its’ most eye-catching element.
Before embarking on her true calling, Sarah lived many different lives, yet in looking back from the vantage point of a jewelry designer with a loyal following of discriminating women clamoring for her jewelry, it seems as if all of her life’s choices have been leading up to this. Sarah’s mother was a multi-talented craft artist and Sarah’s childhood was surrounded with the colorful workings of tapestries and other objects d’ art. Her artistic cravings remained with her throughout her life, yet she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in International Business. She worked in that field for a while and then realized that her true path lay elsewhere. Sarah had designed a bracelet as a gift for her sister, and she tracked down a jeweler who could produce it. So entranced was she by the beauty of the process, the skill that was necessary to beautifully combine nature and fashion, that she decided to make jewelry her life. In order to turn her dreams into reality, Sarah dedicated herself to learning all aspects of jewelry making, remaining undaunted by the prospect of earning a living as an artist. She worked in a jewelry retail store for a year, utilizing one of her days off to work alongside the bench jeweler. She then spent two years traveling the world, gaining inspiration from the jewelry she saw in museums, galleries and stores. Upon her return, Sarah obtained an apprenticeship under a master goldsmith and for two years she painstakingly perfected all aspects of her talent before moving on to a full time job as a bench jeweler, which she held until she branched out on her own in 2000.
Each year Sarah raises funds for Namaste Direct, a non-profit organization that makes micro loans to women entrepreneurs in Central America by holding an all day jewelry demonstration and luncheon for supporters. Sarah’s life is her inspiration: the nature that surrounds her, the love and passion she has for her husband and new born son, the excitement she feels with each new opportunity to perfect her skill and grow her business, the way in which her past gracefully melds with her present.
Sarah’s statement making jewelry is exciting and elegant with a constant stream of new designs flowing from her studio every year. This, along with Sarah’s unique combination of business and retail experience, traveling, a rigorous apprenticeship and her dedication to providing amazing customer service to her clients, ensure many more years of success for Sarah Graham Metalsmithing.
Sarah is currently vice president of the American Jewelry Design Council. She currently resides in San Francisco, California and works with a staff of seven at her Dog Patch neighborhood studio.