Sara Thompson

Sara Thompson

About The Artist

Sara Thompson • Portland, OR

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.


Artist website

Q&A with the Artist

Tell us how your work is made.

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.

What makes you passionate about the medium you work with?

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.

What is something unique about you or your practice?

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.