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Friday, March 4, 2011

Decaying Wood Becomes Living Jewelry for Sarah Graham

Pendant made of oxidized cobalt chrome.

A decaying piece of wood found under an avocado tree turned into the inspiration of Sarah Graham’s latest line of jewelry.

Nature has always been the source of this accomplished California metalsmith's work, but lately she has taken her inspiration to new levels by employing different techniques and using new metals, she said during the Buyers Market of American Craft show in Philadelphia, February 17-21.

The inspiration. A piece of decaying wood found beneath an avocado tree.

For example, Graham has changed from being primarily someone who casts her creations to wax carvings. One of the materials she is using is oxidized cobalt chrome, a metal more known for its use in the medical industry for implants. “It’s a combination between nature and manmade materials,” she says.

Graham says that incorporating new techniques and materials “adds dimension” to her creations. “That’s important in jewelry,” she says.

Whether casted or carved Graham’ has always been skilled in creating nature-inspired jewelry with organic textures and surprising shapes and the new items on display at BMAC certainly reflect this. For example, the pendant pictured at top retains much of the same texture of her inspirational wood her interpretation of the shapes and textures adds something special to the nature-inspired design. The circular patterns of the oxidized cobalt chrome are slightly different. Lines along the chrome add another dimension of texture not evident in the decaying wood.

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