Sara Westermark is a fabulous metalsmith, who creates modern and organic forms with hints of color. Here is a little peek at this wonderful artist. You can find more of her work in her Etsy Shop.
1. Where do you live, and where are you from?
I live in Wilmington, North Carolina although I grew up in Crystal City, Missouri. I moved to Wilmington shortly after I finished my Master's in Music in Voice Performance.
2. How did you get started working with metal?
I have been drawn to metal because of its permanence. My father was an antique dealer and I loved looking at the craftsmanship of Victorian jewelry. I was curious about how it was constructed and yearned to create modern and unique pieces. My interest in metal became a reality when a few years ago I met a jeweler, Gary Pack. Gary would let me watch him work, talked to me about basic tools, and answered all my questions. He never wanted to be a "teacher" but that is what he ended up being for me. He encouraged me to experiment and figure it out on my own. So I did that. I bought all the books I could afford and read through them all. I try something new all the time. When I am successful with a new technique, I do it 25 times to make the skill more permanent. I guess this is a carryover from my music training.
3. What are a few of your favorite pieces at the moment?
My favorite piece that I have made is my Roman Ruins peridot ring. I was drilling holes in a ring to get a lunar piece, but my drill bit got really dull, and ruined my ring. My husband suggested that I salvage the ring and artistically saw around the ripped open hole in my ring. I did this and added "cracks". I really love how it turned out, but it is definitely a happy accident! This series physically represents my acceptance of change in life. I find beauty in the incomplete, the broken, and in ruins.
I'm building a series around my "roe" stud earrings at the moment. I can't wait to get them finished and list them on etsy. I've made lots of little roe disks and now I'm linking them all together!
I'm also really pleased with how my Ice Towers bangle turned out. It is a study for a ring that I have sketched and want to make.
4. What inspires you (artists, objects, interests)?
I love clean designs, organic and natural forms, contrast of color and texture, and upcycling materials. My daughter has often inspired me. She loves fairies and would pick up pieces of pine straw and string leaves onto them to make a fairy necklace. Then she would announce, "see Mom, why don't you do that in your jewelry?" So I did!
5. Do you have any other artistic interests?
I am a classical singer and I still perform as a soloist (opera, oratorio and art song) locally in addition to teaching a full studio of private students. My students have been very successful and have gone on to schools on full scholarships. (I'm so proud of them). I will be performing as a soloist for the Faure "Requiem", Scarlatti cantata with the Tallis Chamber Orchestra and hopefully a gig with the local symphony orchestra in the spring.