Next up in the new resident round-up is Sarah Rachel Brown: metalsmith, jewelry maker, adornment artist. Sarah got her start in the craft by repurposing found objects into wearable ones to pass the time working in a small independent movie house. She became fixated on costume jewelry and thrift store finds as materials that could be transformed from the relatively ordinary and cheap into objects of beauty and value.
Self-starter that she is, Sarah enrolled in a metalsmithing and jewelry making night class at the Pratt Fine Arts Center in Seattle in order to further her obsession. Showing promise in the class she became close with her instructor, Sarah Loertscher, and soon landed herself an apprenticeship that lasted a full three years. Throughout that time, Sarah continued to push her understanding of all aspects of the craft by working alongside a variety of Seattle based makers ranging from studio artists to blacksmiths, and on to traditional businesswomen.
As she began to outgrow the opportunities of her Seattle studio, her mentor encouraged Sarah to apply for the core fellowship program at Penland School of Craft, which she was awarded from 2013-2015. During her fellowship, Sarah continued to deepen her understanding of the hard skills and techniques fundamental to wide range of metal work. She also seized the opportunity to explore a variety of other mediums such as textiles and glass in order to broaden the scope of her work.
Coming into her year here at Arrowmont, Sarah is excited to delve deeper into the themes that have followed her throughout her development as a craftsperson and artist. Her work combines seemingly disparate materials, such as glass and metal, or cheap rhinestones and silver, in order to push the limits of her technical skill while also raising questions about beauty and worth in contemporary material society. Ultimately, her goal is to make wearable objects of beauty that inspire and embolden their wearers in daily life.
If you’re interested in learning more about our new resident adornment artist, you can view her work either at www.sarahrachelbrown.com or via Instagram @sarahrachelbrown. You can also swing by her studio on a Wednesday night, where you’ll most likely find her waist deep in a pile of rhinestones.
And if you do make it out to an open studio night, here are a few lighter, though equally important facets of SRB to help get your conversation rolling.
Sarah has a large daily planner full of notes. When I don’t know where I’m supposed to be at any given moment, I follow Sarah around campus.
Sarah used to sing in a country band. She has a serious set of pipes. If you’re in Gatlinburg on a Tuesday night, come to karaoke at the local brewery.
Sarah also has the ability to dance her way through just about any situation. Especially ones that require no dancing at all. Hang around for a day or two and I’m sure you’ll be able to identify her core group of signature moves.
That’s all for now, thanks for checking in.