“I could go on about metal forever,” sighs Sarah Greenberg, the woman behind the rustic, organic elegant jewelry line - Sarah Swell Jewelry. “I love that it’s this ancient craft and really, not much has changed. The tools are the same ones that people used in ancient Egypt to make jewelry,” says the metalsmith known for her awe-inspiring designs, along with her sweet girl-next-door personality.
Sarah fell in love with metalsmithing after taking a class in Fine Arts School in her native Boston. She worked in jewelry stores, getting behind the bench doing repairs, doing a little designing and in the process uncovered a passion she didn’t know she had. She moved to San Francisco to attend the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts and after graduation she continued working for other jewelry designers, learning every aspect of the jewelry business.
Sarah launched Sarah Swell Jewelry in 2009, in Oakland, but recently moved her life and business to sunny Sausalito. “I just wanted to get back to nature,” she admits.
She finds inspiration in the textures and shapes found in nature and most enjoys seeing that inspiration through to a finished product. “I love that whole process because you don’t know what’s going to happen. It’s exciting and nerve wracking and often takes weeks or months, so when you finally see the finished product it’s really gratifying.”
That gratification translates outside the studio as well – “I spend so much time in the studio head down getting work done, that when I’m out in the real world and see someone wearing and enjoying a piece, it’s the best feeling.”
She works tirelessly to ensure her raw materials are as ethically sourced as possible, using conflict-free diamonds and recycled metal.
“I know that with Makers Market of course everything is handmade and that’s the point, but with my jewelry, I feel like that’s the magic. I hold myself to a certain quality of work and I won’t let anything go that’s less than that, but in the same respect you can definitely tell that this is handmade - you’ll see hammer marks purposely left, or tool marks left behind. I do that because that’s what makes it so special; you really are purchasing something that has been made by a real person somewhere.”