A Closer Look: Etsy Winter – Loops Designs
Sarah Dible’s beautiful jewelry swoops and swirls, handcrafted out of metal and beads. While she often references the natural world, the end product is decidedly modern. I love her Winter Berry Earrings, which bring to mind bright red berries on a frosty winter morning. She has other pairs that use color more literally, but form is obviously her passion (her Etsy shop is called Loops Designs). I also love the way she pushes the boundaries of jewelry; very few of her earrings are obviously earrings, and her Nested necklace and earrings juxtapose raw suede with pearls, two materials that I at least wouldn’t think of together.
Arwen: How did you first get involved with crafting?
Sarah: I can’t remember a time when I was not crafting. As a child I grew up in a remote part of Africa so I had minimal crafting supplies. I remember collecting the thick tinfoil off the top of the Nido (powdered milk) cans that my mother had. I would then cut them into shapes, hole punch them, string them onto yarn and use it as a necklace. My parents were not fond of jewelry but I could somehow get by with wearing my own creations. I liked anything I could mold and shape into new forms. I like to sew and work with paints and glass, but my passion is metal and jewelry. I started crafting jewelry when I was planning my wedding in 1998. I wanted pearl earrings and necklaces for my friends and I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted. I went home and used round nosed pliers from my fiance’s toolbox to make the first samples and then once I knew I could make what I wanted, I purchased my own tools and completed the projects. I was always timid to sell my jewelry until I started getting requests from co-workers. So sometime in 2002 I started selling my jewelry.
Arwen: Why metal?
Sarah: I guess I like metal because it can be rugged and industrial yet feminine, delicate and sophisticated. I also LOVE jewelry and thus metal is my passion. I tend to have an obsession with detail and a short attention span. Thus metal allows me the flexibility to craft almost all of my own components including ear wires and at times clasps so that I can achieve the detail that I desire and I can still have a project completed in a few hours time.
Arwen: What process do you use? Why?
Sarah: I never sketch or plan anything ahead of time. I just start with random ideas and a bunch of supplies beads/colors and start bending, melting or hammering metal and adding in beads as the form takes shape. Sometimes I can see something in my mind and it morphs into something different or better during the unstructured creative process. If I ever sketch things out, it is after the creative process so that I don’t forget the design and its details.
Arwen: What inspires you?
Sarah: Nature, abstract shapes, architecture and minimalism.
Arwen: What’s one tip you’d give to other crafters?
Sarah: Take pride in what you make and pay attention to the details. The details are what make your designs stand out in the crowd.
Arwen: What are your favorite crafting books/magazines/websites?
Sarah: Etsy is my favorite website for crafters. It is fun to browse, participate in the discussions, and just plain loose track of time enjoying the talent that grows there. I also like any publication that gives me new ideas and techniques to try. Sometimes I check out how-to blogs or crafting magazines, but usually I’m just playing with metal in my office to see what shape presents itself.
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