Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Sarah Roberts. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Sarah, appreciate you joining us today. We’d love to hear about a project that you’ve worked on that’s meant a lot to you.
I am such a sentimental person, and this outlet has rewarded me with many opportunities to connect with others who are also sentimental. I’ve gotten to make rings and earrings for brides to wear on their wedding day, bridesmaids rings, groom and groomsmen bolo ties, re-worked jewelry from grandparents to more modern every-day pieces, and encapsulated a hike into a ring. It’s really hard to pick which one stands out as most meaningful, but I would say that capturing the hike into a ring has been one of my most treasured accomplishments. I totally connect with the desire to capture a feeling and find ways of holding onto experiences that made me feel a certain way. So, when I was contacted to make a custom ring to do that, I was all for it. The person had been on a hike during a really meaningful, transitional time in her life and was making a cross-country move. She wanted a way to celebrate that chapter in her life and wanted to capture the feelings and views she had on the hike into a ring. She sent a photo of the hike and I serendipitously had the perfect stone for this custom.
As always, we appreciate you sharing your insights and we’ve got a few more questions for you, but before we get to all of that can you take a minute to introduce yourself and give our readers some of your back background and context?
I am a lover of all things outdoors and spend a lot of my time on trails hiking, running, biking, and skiing. It’s really meditative for me and a huge outlet for me in taking care of myself physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. I was on the hunt for more ways to invite stillness into my life, connect with myself and give myself that care in a more still creative, artful form. I had explored the idea of voice lessons, dabbled in pencil sketches, started painting, and stumbled upon an online metalsmithing class to make a ring. The class was offered by Madison of Van Crafted, an artist whose jewelry I’ve admired via Instagram for a while, so I dove in. After learning to make my first ring with Madison’s video, I expanded my metalsmithing skillset and taught myself how to make earrings (including the earring hook and stud post), double-banded rings, bolo ties, and necklaces. I’ve taught myself how to improve my techniques, polishing processes, and also how to run a business.
It all started as a pandemic hobby, and I would randomly share my pieces on my personal Instagram page. One of my girlfriends from college asked me to make her a ring to honor her grandmother for her to wear on her wedding day. She was a big proponent of me turning this pandemic hobby into a side business for myself.
My day job is to work at a cancer center in community outreach and research, which is a lot of work in solving big problems. What I love about metalsmithing is that I don’t feel like I’m tasked with trying to solve a problem. I make what I feel like I want to make, I dive into customs with people, and it’s been such a unique way to challenge myself and connect with another layer of myself. I’ve done a couple of markets, and have more scheduled for 2022 and those have been such an affirming experience. I’ve met so many awesome people through this – other artists, the shop owners where I source my materials, and best of all – the customers I get to connect with. I love hearing how my pieces make people feel, and how people connect to the inspiration behind them. It is so meaningful when I am contacted to make a custom for an important life event for somebody, I really can’t describe how it feels to know someone thinks of my art when trying to celebrate or capture a moment.
There are so many amazing metalsmiths out there, and it can get discouraging if I approach this outlet as a competition. I enjoy seeing this as a fingerprint – every artist has their own unique style and meaning behind their pieces. Our differences contribute to the beauty of this life, and I am so glad I gave myself the gift of exploring this avenue.
As I said before, I am obsessed with the outdoors, and within this art form, I feel a great sense of responsibility to make sure I am being considerate of nature. I have intentionally chosen every aspect of Mooselove Minerals with this in mind. I only use recycled sterling silver material, my packaging is recyclable, my thank-you tags are recyclable and made by a local female Denver artist, and I source stones directly from family-owned and operated mines, or from lapidaries who work directly with family-owned and operated mines.
How can we best help foster a strong, supportive environment for artists and creatives?
Nobody is perfect, but I think there are many areas and ways society can better support artists. It doesn’t always require spending money. Invest in your local artists, whether it’s through music, paintings, pottery, coffee, beer, or local small business owners – art is a living form of what it is to be vulnerable, and supporting an artist means lifting up others in following their heart. How freaking beautiful is that? If you post a photo of art on your social media, tag the artist, it goes a long way. Engaging with artists’ social media content is more meaningful than you may realize – not only are we artists, but we also have had to become social media marketers in tandem, and it’s not easy. A simple like, comment, and even saving the post helps make us more visible in the social media world, generating more connections through our art with others. Make your time on social media more impactful than diving into the toxic, unhelpful side of it.
What do you find most rewarding about being a creative?
Genuine, authentic human connection is the most rewarding aspect of being a metalsmith. It’s been a tremendous outlet for me to connect with another layer of myself, but also provides the opportunity for real human connection. New dads reaching out to celebrate their partner bringing their first child into the world, celebrating weddings, celebrating being single, you name it. There is so much meaning behind the pieces I create, and I enjoy sharing the meaning behind the pieces. I love when people reach out and share that they resonate with the meaning I hold for the pieces because it’s an instant deeper than surface-level conversation two people get to share.
- Instagram: instagram.com/MooseloveMinerals