Jewelry Designer Extraordinaire, Sarah Andrie, loves the art of creating – but it took her living an island life to find her passion. A committed communications student, her hobby soon became her career path. Always the globe trotter, her travel explorations have served as her inspiration for all things natural. Electoformed nature’s finds – gems, rocks, nuts, cones and shells highlighted with gold and silver – have become the palette for her inspired jewelry designs, which are also objets d’ art in their own right.
Sarah’s work is complimentary to any fashion style – and wearable at any age. She continues to garner acclaim for her simplistic, yet ornamental work. Because her creations are classic, her designs can stand the test of time. This rolling stone gathers no moss – but loves to gather anything she can turn into a work of art. Robin B Gallery caught up with this Chicago Blackhawks fan for an exclusive one-on-one interview.
RBG: Why did you decide to pursue ART as a profession?
SA: I graduated from University of Hawaii with a Bachelors degree in Communications, I never thought about pursuing a career in Art. During school, I took many ceramics and jewelry classes and really enjoyed them. In my spare time I started making wire wrapped jewelry from home. After finishing at the University of Hawaii I took a job hosting and waitressing at Cafe Pesto in Hilo Bay, on the Big Island. The ladies I worked with loved handmade jewelry. They encouraged me to bring and sell my jewelry to our “pau hana”, or happy hour, after work. They were extremely influential in helping me realize that I really loved making jewelry. They gave me the confidence to pursue jewelry as a profession. When I left the job at Cafe Pesto I enrolled in an intensive program at Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts in San Francisco. I have been working full-time as a Goldsmith since I completed the program, and I continue to create my own work on my time off in my home workshop.
RBG: Who are you most influenced by as an artist and as a person?
SA: As an artist, I am most influenced by other artists I meet. One in particular is a good friend Virginia Sanford, who is also a jewelry artist and goldsmith by trade. Our styles are drastically different. When we get together or talk on the phone we discuss concepts and ideas. This really helps me to think outside of the box. We also share obstacles and solutions, which is invaluable to me. I am very lucky to have met Virginia. My mother is also very influential in my work. She is my “go-to” when I am stuck on something. She has a very natural artistic sense. I value her opinion.
As a person, I am most influenced by my father. He is a very successful person in many ways. He has always encouraged me to be the best at what I do, to put in long hours and not expect success to come without dedication. My father also played a large role in my deciding to pursue art as a profession. Since I was young, he would often tell me to find a job that isn’t a job. Meaning, do what you love and you will be naturally great at it. No one wants to spend a lot of time doing something they dread, and rarely do people achieve their goals with little effort. Because I enjoy creating and making jewelry so much, the time I put into it seems to pass very quickly.
RBG: What motivates you?
SA: Finding Flow. It is an experience that is very difficult for me to explain, but I’ll try. It is the feeling of getting lost in what I am doing, and having the natural flow of moving from one step to another. The mental and physical stimulation is addicting, nothing matters but the work I am immersed in. It is methodical and creative at the same time. This flow I experience has become my motivation to set aside daily distractions and create jewelry. That feeling, and a pot of coffee is what motivates me.
RBG: What’s your favorite color?
SA: Gold, I feel there is something whimsical about the color gold. I also think it is timeless, and of course I love using it for jewelry.
RBG: What is your ultimate goal as an artist? What impact do you hope to achieve as an artist?
SA: I hope to contribute someday to a larger community of jewelry art education. I think knowledge is something that should be shared. Regardless of the field, I think people tend to internalize knowledge because they are either afraid of knowing less than the next person, or maybe there are concerns of imitation but in this profession that will always be a problem. Leaving something for the next generation of artists to build on or improve upon would be very fulfilling for me.
RBG: What is the most rewarding part of being an artist?
SA: For me it is the satisfaction (or appreciation I feel) when a customer really admires something I have created.
RBG: What advice would you give to a young artist?
SA: I consider myself young at 26. As a young artist you will meet people that do not take your profession seriously. Go with your passion, the road will not always be easy, some people will appreciate what you do and others will not. Try and learn something from everyone whether good or bad, but in the end you have to go with your heart. Also, invest in tools when you are young, they will last forever if taken care of, and they will help motivate you to learn and try new things. Some really good advice I live by that I received while at the Revere Academy of Jewelry Arts. “Take the time to do it right, or take the time to do it again” – Alan Revere
RBG: Who would you love to meet and what would you ask them?
SA: I have always been a Chicago Blackhawks fan. I would like to meet the entire Chicago Blackhawks hockey team and Joel Quenneville; in hopes that I could persuade them to hire me to design the next Stanley Cup Championship Ring (I suppose I would also have to convince Mr. Rocky Wirtz). I have been a dedicated fan since I was young. I may be the only Chicago Blackhawks fan living in Northern Michigan, it is a tough crowd up here.
RBG: Where would you love to live or travel?
SA: I would love to travel to parts of the world I have never seen; Marrakech, Morocco and Indonesia are a few on the top of my list. I love to travel, my list is long. My friend Virginia and I travel to the Tucson Gem show every year, we spend all day hunting for stones though multiple exhibits a day until they close on us. We cannot seem to see enough. Next year, we are planning on attending an overseas gem show. I would love to see how other cultures manipulate metal and incorporate stones of their locale, and also check out the beach.
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