Returning to our series of ‘Maker of the Month’ posts, here we feature Sarah Macrae, who is currently Chair of the Designer Jewellers Group. The post is written by fellow DJG member Ulli Kaiser.
Sarah studied Wood, Metal, Ceramics and Plastics (WMCP) at Brighton Polytechnic. She grew up with precious metals, with a respected jeweller parent – and although she knew she wanted to make things, she went to college not intending to become a jeweller herself. But the scale she found herself working took the decision more or less out of her hands.
Sarah has a particular and strong interest in creating jewellery in which the function of the piece is integral to the design. Her penannulars, a universal ancient form of brooch that occurs in many different cultures, demonstrate this beautifully. The long pin is very much an essential part of the composition.
One of her penannular brooches was presented to Princess Anne. It was reversible, made in silver and the ancient technique of Keum Bo, with one side oxidised whereas most others are in acrylic and silver.
Sarah’s inspiration to work in polypropylene, started with a commission for a pink necklace.
Her recent work has been inspired by a visit to Sal isle, Cape Verde, when she revived a half dead Portuguese Man O’ War by putting it into a rock pool. She watched it re-inflate itself and reveal its bright pink edges.
Polypropylene is a thermoplastic material with a large variety of uses and attributes. Along with lightness and strength, it can also be dyed which makes it the perfect material for Sarah to transfer her ideas into something tangible and tactile. She can create jewellery and larger scale work like this wall hanging made for the Making it Project.
Sarah has always loved colour and during her career has made work using enamels, coloured woods, stone and acrylic and working in polypropylene did not restrict her use of colour. The inspirations she finds in looking at sea creatures and plants, anemones and jellyfish, but most of all, in the luminosity of colour under water, turn into light, fun to wear jewellery.
Sarah’s work will be available at the Pool House Gallery in the Quenington Sculpture Trust, from 14 June 2015 – 5 July 2015, at the Barbican during regular Designer Jewellers Group exhibitions, and privately to commission.