A Closer Look: Etsy Winter – Loops Designs

Craft & Design

Winter Berry Earrings

Nested Necklace

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?
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?
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?
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?
Nature, abstract shapes, architecture and minimalism.
Arwen: What’s one tip you’d give to other crafters?
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?
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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