Sometimes, finding inspiration can be as simple as looking out the window. That was the case for metalsmith Sarah Graham one day last winter when she noticed the striking tones and textures of the aspen trees just outside. That moment became the basis for her newest line of jewelry, the Aspen collection, which includes some dozen necklaces, earrings, and rings.
Graham, who moved here with her family from San Francisco last December, started her fine-jewelry company in 2000 after training in metal work for seven years. She now designs the exquisite, nature-inspired pieces for which she’s become known in her new Basalt studio.
Like all of Graham’s work, the Aspen collection is crafted primarily in 18K gold and oxidized cobalt chrome (the matte-black finish serving as the “eyes” of the trunk), and accented by white diamonds, from small sprinkles that mimic the reflection of snow off the tree to .5K insets. Unlike most aspen-inspired jewelry, which mimics the iconic leaf shape, Graham’s highlights the tree’s trunk—partly because when she gazed out the window that December day the trees were bare of leaves and partly because of her aesthetic approach. “It’s integral to my design to show nature in ways that people are not used to seeing it,” she explains. “My designs are not literal. That’s what keeps it fun and interesting.”
Find the Aspen collection and more of Graham’s pieces at the Elliott Yeary Gallery (419 E. Hyman Ave.); 970-429-1111; elliottyeary.com.