Sara Thompson


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Meet the Artist

  • About This Artist

    I’m an accomplished silversmith with a BFA in Craft with a concentration in metals from the Oregon College of Art and Craft. I’ve apprenticed as a bench jeweler and have moved into using traditional silversmithing to explore the vessel and the intimate connection of handheld functional objects. The silver pieces I create are a convergence between minimal design, historical craft, and ordinary tactile objects with a fresh, minimal, and contemporary aesthetic.

  • Q&A With This Artist

    A: I use traditional silversmithing techniques to make my pieces. I take flat sheets of silver and hammer them up into three dimensional forms to create bowls, trays, and teapots. I use other historical techniques to construct functional spoons from silver sheet and wire.

    A: I love working in silver. It’s like the Goldilocks metal for me. It moves easily and retains its form during the hammering processes. I enjoy creating vessels because with each piece I make I further my understanding of how to move metal. I’m fascinated with the process of using a few hammers, a couple of special steel tools, a torch, a file and some sandpaper to transform a flat disk of silver into a beautiful object.

    A: I apprenticed under a bench jeweler from the ages of 11 to 16. Early on in my apprenticeship, working with metal clicked in my brain. Apprenticing one day a week quickly turned into 5 to 7 days a week. I graduated high school at 16 and then moved to Portland, OR to start my BFA a week after I turned 17. I went to Oregon College of Art and Craft and completed my BFA when I was 20. During those four years I thrived in the mentor-based environment and really focused on traditional silversmithing.

    A: I incorporate wonder into my practice through the tactile nature of my objects. There’s a moment when someone sees my work and then they pick up a piece. In this moment the person’s perception of the piece changes as they begin to have a tactile connection to the piece. The soft, quiet appearance of the silver contrasts with the heftiness of the material. This invites folks to explore picking up objects for a closer examination and encourages them to imagine how pieces will be used in the home.

    A: My artist practice has been shaped by my mentor, Christine Clark. She was my advisor during my undergrad and is now my current studio landlord. Christine taught her students during metals 101 to stretch often, incorporate it into your practice, make it a habit so you can take care of your body and have a long career. Her mantra to stretch often and to take care of your body has inspired me to be kind and compassionate to myself in practice so I can continue to be in the studio for the long haul.

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