Based in Oxford, Alabama, Jewellery designer Sarah Cavender creates striking metal mesh bracelets and necklaces from a delicate fabric of mesh and wire that is both vintage and industrial looking. They’re sophisticated, versatile and timeless.
Sarah studied at the Philadelphia College of Art. She majored in sculpture but took a jewellery class and discovered that she enjoyed working with metal. Sarah found a screening manufacturer who sold flexible industrial metal mesh and “started scavenging in their scraps.” She still sources much of her material from this company now.
Upon graduating a sculpture professor told her she had a talent for jewellery design, inspiring her to start her business, supporting herself financially by cleaning houses and offices, and working in an art gallery.
Her conviction that "people buy a lot more jewellery than they do sculpture," proved correct, and today, Sarah Cavender Metalworks is a physical store in Oxford, Alabama. Sarah works at the back of her shop, with a small staff of local painters and metalworkers, crafting her designs.
She cites fashion, a love of nature, gardening, and vintage jewellery among her inspirations. Her father had a job in the Air Force, and her consequent childhood travels around the globe have been a huge influence on her. “I was dragged into every museum en route,” she says. It is, however, the materials that she works with – their capabilities and possibilities - which provide the main energy behind her designs.
Sarah will only work with materials that contain an element of woven wire, sourced primarily in the US. Products are made from metal sheets of screenings and mesh which are hammered, formed, soldered, cleaned and plated or oxidized. They are then hand painted using Sarah’s own technique: colours are mixed by hand with tints and bronze powders into a lacquer coating, and sealed.
Sarah Cavender bracelets and chains are beautifully textured, in classic colours – they’re wearable art that will outlast any fashion trend.