New Merchandise

Just Landed: Sarah Loertscher at Click!

Seattle-made artisan earrings that explore minerals, geology, and the beauty of the Northwest.

By Laura Cassidy August 30, 2011

Can you see Steven’s Pass in these Sarah Loertscher earrings?

New at Click! Design That Fits, Sarah Loertscher’s Seattle-made collection of geometric jewelry. Called the F-Series in reference to the principle metal involved, iron, the line is made up of cut and folded steel paired with various gems and glass beads.

Join the West Seattle shop for an open reception for the work, which also includes prints, drawing, and installation pieces, on Thursday, September 1 from 6 to 9, or stop by on Saturday, September 3 from 11 to 5 for a trunk show with the artist and a complete look at the shapes, materials, and ideas in this evocative line.

Here, three questions with Loertscher.

WWW: I understand you do a lot of work with iron. What is the other material in the earrings we see here, and what is your approach to materials that work together and provide contrast and narrative for each other?
Loertscher: Technically, I work with steel, which is an alloy of iron, carbon, and a variety of other metals to provide strength, flexibility, etc. I love steel for it’s strength, lightness, and for all the gritty industrial connotations it brings with it. Steel jewelry has a utilitarian, industrial slant, which is an edge I feel my jewelry typically contains.

The color is introduced by way of many, many tiny glass beads. Color is something that I have rarely used in the past, mostly because I couldn’t fold it into my work in a way that made sense. I’m obsessed with clusters and accumulations and piling these glass beads together creates an interest, a curiosity, about what the color is made of.

I like making work that encourages people to lean in and explore it. The two materials together contrast pretty nicely—steel (gritty and industrial) and punchy glass beads you buy in the scrap booking aisle.

I’ve only seen a few of your pieces but for me they really bring to mind our area’s mountain passes. Is there a connection to natural rock formations and hidden, buried crystalized materials that resonates with you at all? Where does your most vital inspiration come from?
Crystal structures and rock formations, without a doubt. The work I make taps into the things I was entranced with from a really young age: I was obsessed with finding fools gold, and staring at anything (anything!) that glittered. I didn’t like jewelry, per se, I just liked sparkly facets. I was also intensely curious about nature, and liked to be drawn in and rewarded—like seeing something sparkle in the dirt, tracking down the sparkle, digging it up, and realizing it was a hunk of pyrite. I liked looking for treasures.

Like I mentioned before, I feel like my best work does the same thing; engages the viewer, draws them in, and rewards them with something surprising to look at and experience. Anyway, when I found metalsmithing, it felt like I came full circle: suddenly I realized I could create my own structures, and facets, and formations.

Where do you see these earrings going? Who might wear them and where?
I think they would look absolutely stunning on a narwhal in the arctic ocean.

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