One of South Australia’s most dedicated jewellers and shop owners, Sarah Rothe has quickly made a name for herself in the Australian market, and shows no signs of slowing down. Bowerbird caught up with Sarah to find out more…
For those who don’t know, how would you describe your work?
Primarily my work consists of contemporary etched and coloured (anodised) titanium jewellery. Titanium colours amazingly though anodising (an electrical process where voltage is used to change the surface of titanium without dyes or additives). It is also very strong, lightweight and hypoallergenic. Perfect for jewellery, especially those with allergies. I translate fragile and delicate natural forms into long lasting and strong pieces in titanium.
How did the your jewellery journey begin? Who or what inspired you to start?
If you want to go WAY back… I guess my journey started with a bit of entrepreneurial spirit, a gourmet weekend in the Barossa and a small stand selling cornflake cookies, lemonade and bracelets made from willow branches (from the neighbour’s yard) from out the front of our house. Fast forward about 8 years and I enrolled in a short course in jewellery making at WEA. I always knew I was going to art school, but this started my love of jewellery making. After studying jewellery at Adelaide Centre for the Arts I went straight into an Associate position at the Jam Factory Contemporary Craft and Design. Towards the end of my time there, I undertook a residency in Jingdezhen, China. The inspiration I took away from this residency started my titanium collection as it is today. I launched the collection and the very first designs, at the first ever Bowerbird, at the Queens Theatre in 2009!
What are your current artistic influences and what inspires you to carry on doing what you’re doing?
At the moment I’m moving back to some old influences while designing a new range of precious rings. These are inspired by medieval and ancient jewels, while also having a modern feel. I’m pretty excited about these!
I’m also working on some statement jewellery in titanium. Large necklaces and earrings. I will have a few pieces of both the precious range and the new titanium work at Bowerbird! Can’t wait to see how people react to these and discover which are their favourites!
Looking back on what I have achieved keeps me going. Looking forward also makes me really excited and there are so many more things to come!
What’s a typical day for you?
Most days involve me waking up around 6:30, having a coffee on the couch and a cuddle with my fur babies (two adorable pugs), which is always drawn out longer than it should – they are very good at making me feel guilty for leaving them. I then like to get a few things done in the morning, maybe a quick order, resize, or some emails, this helps to get me productive and motivated for the day. I have a shop/gallery now in Regent Arcade and on Mondays I keep the shop closed so I usually use this for a workshop and design day, the rest of the week it is into the shop/gallery where my days are usually pretty varied depending on how many customers come in and what needs to be done.
Which other designers are you looking forward to seeing when you come to Bowerbird on May 5 – 7?
There is such a fantastic array of designers that come to Bowerbird. I am definitely looking forward to catching up with interstate designer friends such as Atelier Nomada, Emma Kate Co, Hannakin, Koa by Kaitlin, Linogirl, The Gently Unfurling Sneak and also fellow South Aussies like Kitty Came Home, Dana Kinter, Delilah Devine, Days of August, Namoi and Claire Ishino.
What’s your favourite piece that will be available for Bowerbird?
Ooo, that’s a hard one! My favourite pieces change all the time! I think it would have to be my new brooches! Inspired by poppy petals and using very fluid curls and curves, along with graduating colours! All are unique and no two are the same.
What advice would you give other aspiring designers?
Work hard and be persistent, keep learning and surround yourself with people who want to see you succeed.