Even as a child in Indiana, West Seattle jewelry designer Sarah Loertscher appreciated structure. These days, as she transforms simple lines of stainless steel into beautifully delicate pieces, her clustered geometric drop earrings and necklaces are both structured and softly natural. Fresh from a collaboration with evening and bridal designer Angel Sanchez for Fall 2013 at New York Fashion Week (see the slideshow here for more on that), Loertscher tells us about some old family friends from her workspace and how boredom during softball sparks a path to design.
Shop Talk: What neighborhood is your studio in?
Loertscher: My studio is currently in the Junction in West Seattle, a super supportive community for the arts. I will often be kicking around the neighborhood and see my jewelry worn, it's awesome. I grew up in a small town, and parts of West Seattle have that vibe—lots of people knowing your name, being a regular, finding parking—it's an easy place to live. I feel really comfortable and happy in my 'hood.
What is your earliest memory of designing?
One of my earliest memories of making jewelry was standing in the outfield during softball games (I wasn't very good) and picking long blades of grass and turning them into rings. I had a particular way of slotting the blade to stay in a ring shape without a knot.
What do you do to get yourself in a creative or productive headspace when you're feeling stuck?
I try lots of things from changing the music, dancing, checking my email, drinking more coffee. These things usually don't work. The best thing I've found is to just force myself to sit at the bench and work on something for ten minutes or so. Then, I'm actually engaged to just keep working. It's hard some days. Or, I call it a day, take a long break, and come back the next morning feeling one thousand percent more refreshed and inspired.
What are five things you can't work without and why?
Coffee: My fuel
My torch: Main squeeze, as far as tools go
Dot Grid notebook: Favorite paper, by far, for everything
Micron markers: Small and permanent
Belt sander: The newest tool that saves myself and my wrists countless hours of work and frustration.
What is your favorite thing about your studio?
My favorite things are my tools. Walking into a space and having these tools, some of which have been in my family for generations (my greatgrandpa had a farm, my grandpa was a tinkerer and collector of tools) is really comforting to me. I've had a lot of these tools for well over 10 years; they are like old friends.
Where can we find your jewelry, and where would you like us to be able to find your jewelry in the future?
You can find my work on my website, Click! Design That Fits, and at SAM Shop, to name a few. I would love to have my work carried in more museum stores and a few larger department stores in the future.